The National Energy Board is recommending the approval of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 157 conditions.
The project would expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton, and Burnaby, B.C., by increasing capacity from 300,000 barrels of crude per day to 890,000.
Almost 90 per cent of the pipeline route for the project parallels the existing line, which will reduce the need for new disturbance, and minimize the potential impacts of construction.
The project includes approximately 987km of new pipeline, new and modified facilities such as pump stations and tanks, and the reactivation of 193km of existing pipeline.
It would also be the first energy project to have plans to offset emissions.
The 157 conditions include regulatory and/or overarching requirements as well as requirements pertaining to project engineering and safety; emergency preparedness and response; environmental protection; people, communities and lands; economics and financial responsibility; and, project-related marine shipping.
But that’s not enough to convince opponents of the $6.8 billion project that it’s a good idea. Environmental and aboriginal groups remain opposed to the expansion and say they’ll continue to fight it.
The hearing began on April 2, 2014 when the Board determined the project application was complete and released its Hearing Order.
The hearing record closed on February 17, 2016 when Trans Mountain filed its final written reply argument.
The Liberal cabinet has final say in the matter, likely by the end of the year.