NEB Proposes Conditions for Mackenzie Gas Project

Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) on Monday sent proposed conditions that could be attached to any approvals that it may issue for the Mackenzie Gas Project to all participants in the NEB hearing. This early release of proposed conditions will keep the NEB regulatory process moving forward by allowing the applicants and other participants in the hearing to comment on this group of conditions now.

Although the NEB normally releases all proposed conditions for a project approval for comment at the same time, for the Mackenzie Gas Project, not all potential conditions will be known until after the parallel Joint Review Panel hearing and report are completed. In the meantime, the NEB is releasing some proposed safety and design conditions under its NEB Act and Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA) authority.

The conditions are grouped around phases of the project: pre-construction, construction and then operation. One proposed condition, as an example, is a requirement for an Emergency Response Plan to address worker, public, and environmental safety in the remote northern operations environment.

The proposed conditions for the pipeline and the gathering system, as well as conditions for the three natural gas fields, can be viewed in full on the National Energy Board web site under "Mackenzie Gas Project" "Link to All Regulatory Documents for the GH-1-2004 Mackenzie Gas Project" under the folder "National Energy Board."

The NEB instructed all hearing participants to provide written comments by noon, Mountain Standard Time, on Friday 30 March 2007. The NEB also noted that it may periodically issue further proposed conditions for comment before the end of this hearing process.

The NEB completed the planned evidentiary phase of its Mackenzie Gas Project hearings in December 2006 and will provide direction on the process for Final Argument at a later date.

The NEB is an independent federal agency that regulates several aspects 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.