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Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel


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Panel Session Results and Decision Questions and Answers

What is the purpose of the Panel Session Results and Decision document?

On July 5, 2010, the Joint Review Panel (Panel) established to review the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project (Project) issued a Procedural Direction requesting comments on three topics:

  1. the draft List of Issues;
  2. additional information which Northern Gateway should be required to file; and
  3. location(s) for the oral hearings.

The Panel held sessions in Whitecourt, Alberta; and Kitimat and Prince George, British Columbia. The Panel heard from people on these three topics, and also received written comments which were considered equally.

The Panel Session Results and Decision [Filing A27962] document summarizes the Panel's response to comments received.

How has the Panel responded to what it heard?

The Panel has considered all written and oral comments received. Its response outlines the following:

  • Requirement for Northern Gateway to file additional information;
  • The revised List of Issues; and
  • General comments on oral hearing locations.

Why does the Panel require additional information?

The application materials do not adequately address project-specific challenges and risks. The unique characteristics of this project include:

  • The route crosses areas prone to avalanches and slides
  • Routing is through the Rocky and Coastal Mountains with a requirement for two tunnels
  • Many communities along the route are dependent on the land for subsistence and cultural reasons
  • There will be high volumes of oil and condensate transported

The pipeline design to address these challenges must be available to allow the application to be fully assessed. This additional information will assist all parties and the Panel to better understand the consequences of potential oil or condensate spills and how these consequences will influence project design and operation.

What additional information is the Panel requesting?

The additional information requested is to demonstrate:

  • How the risk factors resulting from the geotechnical and geographic aspects of the applied-for corridor and terminal will be taken into account; and
  • The integration of the risk factors with the environmental and socio-economic consequences from potential hydrocarbon releases.

How has the draft List of Issues changed?

In response to the comments received, the Panel has expanded and added clarifications to the draft List of Issues. The revised List of Issues will guide the Panel's review of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project and is available in the Panel Session Results and Decision, Appendix A [Filing A27962].

Have you made a decision on specific hearing locations?

No. Based on the comments received, the Panel intends to conduct oral hearings in locations close to the pipeline and marine components of the project. The list of oral hearing locations will be announced at a later date.

What are the next steps?

The Panel has indicated that it requires additional information on the design and risk assessment of the pipeline before continuing further with the review process.

Once this information is filed, the Panel will issue a Hearing Order which will outline the timeline and ways in which interested persons, including members of the public and Aboriginal groups, may participate further in the review process.

Can I still participate in the joint review process?

The Panel will continue to accept letters of comment. Further direction about participation in the process will be announced later on in the Hearing Order.

Will comments received in Panel sessions be included in the Panel's ongoing assessment of the project?

Yes. All information received in response to the Procedural Direction is on the Panel's registry and will also be considered as comment within the review process for the project.


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