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Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel


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Backgrounder - Joint Review Process Overview

Enbridge Gateway Pipeline Project - Joint Review Panel



Joint Review Process Overview

The Joint Review Panel (Panel) received an application from Enbridge Northern Gateway on 27 May 2010 to construct two 1,170 kilometre pipelines running from Bruderheim, Alberta to Kitimat, British Columbia and to construct and operate the Kitimat Marine Terminal.

Before issuing the Hearing Order, the Panel conducted panel sessions and asked people interested in the project to comment on specific issues related to the application and the hearing process. Sessions were held in Whitecourt, Kitimat and Prince George in August and September 2010.

Key Steps in Hearing Process

Hearing Process

Information Requests

  • Information requests (IRs) allowed the Panel and parties (intervenors, government participants, and the applicant) to ask for additional information or clarification of evidence that other parties submitted to the Panel.

Oral Evidence

  • The Panel began hearing oral evidence from intervenors in Kitamaat Village on 10 January 2012.
  • Oral evidence hearings continued until late -July 2012 with the Panel holding hearings in 16 different communities.
  • In total the Panel heard from 389 witnesses on behalf of 60 intervenors.
  • The purpose of these hearings was to gather oral traditional knowledge or personal knowledge and experiences about the potential effects of the project.

Oral Statements

  • Oral statement hearings began in March 2012 and wrapped up on 1 February 2013.
  • These hearings were held in 18 locations both on and off the proposed route.
  • In total, the Panel heard from 1,179 people.
  • Each person had 10 minutes to share their personal knowledge, views or concerns about the project with the Panel.

Letters of Comment

  • A letter of comment is a written letter to the Panel outlining someone’s views, knowledge or concerns regarding the project.
  • Those wanting to submit a letter of comment to the Panel had to submit it by 31 August 2012.
  • In total, the Panel received approximately 9,500 letters of comment.

Questioning Phase

  • Parties (intervenors, government participants and the applicant) were given the opportunity to question other parties’ witnesses to test the credibility of their evidence filed on the record.
  • Hearings were held in three communities – Edmonton, Prince George and Prince Rupert – with different issues being subject to questioning in each location.
  • The questioning phase began in Edmonton on 4 September 2012 and wrapped up in Prince Rupert on 1 May 2013.

Final Argument

  • Final argument is the last step in the hearing process before the Panel begins its deliberations and release of its recommendation report to the Government.
  • The purpose of final argument is for parties to comment on potential conditions that were released by the Panel, share their views on the project and persuade the Panel to recommend approval or denial of the project.
  • Final argument has two components: the written process which closed on 31 May and the oral process which begins on 17 June 2013.
  • Further details on the final argument process can be found in Procedural Directions #12 and #15 ((Filing A49564))

Release of Report

The Panel will issue its recommendation report by 31 December 2013. It must include the conclusions relating to the environmental assessment of the project and recommendations on whether the project is in the public interest. It must also include terms and conditions the National Energy Board would impose on the project, should the Government decide to approve it.

The final decision on whether or not the project should proceed will be made by the Government.

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