The National Energy Board (NEB) announced Jan. 6 that they will hear final arguments in mid-April on the proposed 1,220-kilometer long pipeline along the Northwest Territories’ Mackenzie Valley.
Hearings into the Mackenzie Gas Project (MGP) will begin at Yellowknife’s Explorer Hotel on April 12 and run until April 17 if necessary. The hearings will continue the following week in Inuvik – April 20 to April 24 at the Midnight Sun Recreation Complex. The hearings will be carried live on the NEB website, http://www.neb.gc.ca.
During this phase of the hearings, groups or individuals will be able to make their case for or against the project.
“With the schedule that we have announced, our goal is to set out clear ‘rules of the game’ for the many people and organizations who are interested in the outcome of this hearing,” NEB Panel Chair Kenneth Vollman said in a release.
The Joint Review Panel report into the MGP was released on Dec. 30 and gave the proposed pipeline a conditional approval. The JRP Report examined the socio-economic and environmental effects of the proposed natural gas pipeline.
Prior to hearing the final arguments the NEB will gather comments from the project’s proponents and individuals who participated in either the NEB or JRP’s hearings. The NEB will also collect comments on the numerous JRP Report recommendations directed towards government departments and agencies.
Once the hearing is complete, the NEB will deliberate and prepare its Reasons for Decision, which will contain its decision and the reasoning behind its decision.
The NEB began hearing evidence on the proposed pipeline in January 2006 from its five proponents: Imperial Oil Resources Ventures Limited, the Mackenzie Valley Aboriginal Pipeline Limited Partnership, Imperial Oil Resources Limited, ConocoPhillips Canada (North) Limited, Shell Canada Limited and ExxonMobil Canada Properties.
Construction on the pipeline could begin as early as the fall of 2013, pending NEB approval, with the first gas flowing by 2016.