The National Energy Board (NEB) is pushing back a deadline to make a recommendation on Kinder Morgan’s TransMountain Pipeline, citing a need for more information. The NEB called it an "excluded period" to review the project beginning on Sept. 17, 2015 and ending Jan. 8, 2016. The board stated it needed to acquire additional information related to the project.
The NEB has a legislated time limit of 15 months from the date it determines an application is complete until issuing a decision or recommendation to the Governor in Council. The term excluded period refers to the provision in the NEB Act that allows the NEB to exclude a period of time from its legislated 15-month time limit. This announcement followed a decision by the project hearing panel in August to strike evidence from the hearing record. TransMountain must file replacement evidence by this month. The decision came after Steven Kelly, a consultant who prepared evidence in support of the project, was scheduled for appointment to the NEB in October.
Kinder Morgan contracted Kelly to provide an opinion on the future supply and demand for oil.
His findings were filed in December 2013. He was appointed to a seven-year term on the NEB by federal Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford. The NEB will now release its Recommendation Report by May 20, 2016. Prior to this excluded period, the report was scheduled to be released on Jan. 26, 2016.
This is the second excluded period for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The first excluded period was from July 11, 2014 to Feb. 3, 2015 to allow Trans Mountain to file additional studies related to a new preferred corridor through Burnaby Mountain. The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is a proposal to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton and Burnaby, B.C. It would include about 987 km of new pipeline, new and modified facilities, such as pump stations and tanks, and the reactivation of 193 km of existing pipeline. The Westridge Marine Terminal would also be expanded.