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Changes to Kinder Morgan hearing process unlikely: NEB governed by federal mandate

Last Updated Jun 8, 2015 at 1:14 pm PDT

Summary

Intervenors are pulling out of hearing about Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline expansion

NEB says anyone who doesn't like the process, should talk to the federal government

National Energy Board says it's following the law, despite criticism of limited scope of Kinder Morgan hearing

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – The National Energy Board says the parties unhappy with the policy side of the process for the hearing on Kinder Morgan’s proposal to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline should take their issues up with the federal government.

The comment comes as intervenors continue to quit.

The conservation group Watershed Watch Salmon Society is the latest to abandon the hearing, saying it has no confidence the proceedings are fair.

Expert intervenors have also quit including former heads of BC Hydro and ICBC while municipalities have called the process biased.

The City of Vancouver has criticized the limited scope, but Tara O’Donovan with the NEB says they have to follow the rules Ottawa gives them.

“Our mandate is to establish, through legislation passed by Parliament and that’s what we use to conduct our reviews of any application that comes before us.”

She adds it’s disappointing groups are withdrawing because now there’s no way to have their opinions considered otherwise.

“As intervenors in the process, they would have had an opportunity to have their voice on the record and be able to influence the decision of the board, and they no longer have that opportunity.”

The expansion, if approved, would cost $5.4 billion.