CER Recommends Approval of NGTL’s Edson Mainline Expansion Project
November 19, 2020 – Calgary, AB – Canada Energy Regulator
The Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (Commission, CER) recommends that federal Cabinet approve NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.’s (NGTL) Edson Mainline Expansion Project (Project). The Project involves the construction and operation of approximately 85 km of natural gas pipeline loops in two sections, along with the associated facilities. The Project is needed to increase pipeline capacity and move gas from the Peace River Project Area to growing markets in central and southern Alberta.
Commissioners heard from more than a dozen intervenors, including industry, federal and provincial government departments and Indigenous peoples. After considering the evidence and submissions presented by all parties, including Indigenous knowledge, the Commission found that the Project is in the Canadian public interest. As part of its recommendation, the Commission included conditions related to, among other things, matters with respect to Indigenous peoples, construction activities, safety measures and standards and environmental monitoring.
Indigenous peoples raised various concerns during the hearing about potential impacts on their rights and interests. The Commission, as part of its response to these concerns, recommended a number of conditions, including requiring a construction monitoring plan for the participation of Indigenous monitors during and post construction. A summary of concerns from Indigenous peoples, responses from NGTL and the Government of Canada, and the Commission’s analysis is found in Appendix IV of the report.
The Commission is of the view that, within this Project area, any potential Project impacts on the rights and interests of affected Indigenous peoples are not likely to be significant with the implementation of the mitigation measures and commitments made by NGTL, as well as the conditions and accommodations recommended and imposed by the Commission.
Approximately 73 km (86 per cent) of the pipeline route will parallel the existing NGTL right of way and other existing and proposed disturbances. The Commission noted that NGTL considered input from landowners, occupants, land users, Indigenous peoples and environmental studies in deciding the proposed route.
If federal Cabinet approves this project, the CER will monitor and enforce compliance with all conditions using audits, inspections and other compliance and enforcement tools.
- The estimated capital cost of the Project is $509 million. The Project is estimated to contribute a total of $370 million to provincial gross domestic product. In Alberta that contribution is estimated to be $285 million, with the remaining $85 million going to other provinces and territories. The Project is expected to contribute $175 million of labour income in Alberta.
- Project construction is estimated to generate tax revenues of $6.3 million federally, $8.8 million provincially and $7.1 million at the municipal level. During operations, the Project is estimated to contribute approximately $740,000 per year in property taxes to Clearwater County and Yellowhead County.
- The Project would cross 141 parcels of land, including four private (freehold) quarter sections along the Alford Creek Section, and 137 parcels of provincial Crown land.
- As this application was filed on 3 April 2019, it was considered by the Commission under the National Energy Board Act.
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