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OTTAWA, December 4, 2009 – The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) and the National Energy Board (NEB) issued today the Joint Review Panel Agreement (the Agreement), including the Terms of Reference, for the environmental and regulatory review of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline Project.
The joint review panel process will provide an opportunity for all hearing participants to make their views known on the project in an open and transparent forum. The public and Aboriginal groups are encouraged to bring their views on the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project forward to the Joint Review Panel (the Panel) once the Panel is established.
The Agreement was issued for public comment before being finalized. The Agreement describes the Panel’s terms of reference as well as the process to be followed for conducting the joint panel review.
The Panel has a broad mandate under both the National Energy Board Act and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act to consider whether the project is likely to cause significant adverse environmental effects and if it is in the public interest. After conclusion of the review process, the Panel will prepare a Panel Report setting out its conclusions and recommendations relating to the environmental assessment of the project. Following the government response on the Panel Report, the Panel will then issue its reasons for decision under the National Energy Board Act. More specifically, the Panel will:
Additional information on the Agreement is available in the accompanying backgrounder.
The Agreement, including the Terms of Reference, as well as additional information on the project are available on the Agency’s website, under reference number 06-05-21799, and on the NEB’s website at www.neb-one.gc.ca.
The Agency administers a Participant Funding Program which supports individuals and non-profit organizations and Aboriginal groups interested in participating in the review panel process. Next steps in the review process will include the appointment of the Panel members, the announcement of the participant funding recipients and the filing of the project application by Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines to the NEB. The Panel will provide additional opportunities for public input and input by Aboriginal groups on the List of Issues to be considered by the Panel. Additional information will be available when the Panel issues its Hearing Order.
Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines proposes to construct and operate two pipelines, 1,170 km in length, between an inland terminal at Bruderheim, Alberta and a marine terminal near Kitimat, British Columbia. About 500 km of pipeline will be in Alberta and 670 km in British Columbia. One of the pipelines will carry crude oil west to Kitimat and the other line will carry condensate east to Bruderheim. The project also includes the construction and operation of an integrated marine infrastructure at tidewater to accommodate loading and unloading of oil and condensate tankers and marine transportation of oil and condensate.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.
Celebrating 50 years of regulatory leadership, the National Energy Board is an independent federal agency that regulates several parts of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to promote safety and security, environmental protection, and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in the Canadian public interest, within the mandate set by Parliament in the regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade.
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