Trans Mountain oil pipeline may face public scrutiny

Jan. 16, 2014 at 8:21 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Canada's energy regulator called for interested parties to apply to take part in a hearing on the expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

Pipeline company Kinder Morgan wants to spend more than $5 billion to twin the existing pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia, which would double the corridor's capacity of 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

It submitted an application to Canada's National Energy Board in December and the NEB said the application process was now open to those wishing to take part in a hearing on the project.

"The NEB is reviewing the application to determine if it is complete and if so, the NEB will hold a public hearing," the regulator said Wednesday. "Those who wish to participate in the NEB hearing must apply to participate."

Advocacy groups in British Columbia have expressed concern about the potential environmental threat from the expanded oil pipeline. Kinder said the existing corridor has been in service for 60 years with few incidents.

An estimated 25 barrels of oil spilled from the existing pipeline in June.

Kinder said it should take at least 15 months for the NEB to review the project. If approved, the expansion would go into service in late 2017.

Hearing applications are due Feb. 12. No date for the hearing was announced.

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