Chapter 3: Other Projects

Besides the pipeline projects that go to a public hearing, the majority of applications received by the NEB do not require a public hearing. Generally, project applications that do not require a public hearing include pipelines that are less than 40 kilometres long; the construction of meter stations; and other small scale projects, often built within company-owned lands. Also, pipelines being deactivated, reactivated, or decommissioned do not require a public hearing process.

Even though a public hearing process may not be required by legislation, the Board may use the hearing process for deciding on applications, if it believes that to do so is in the public interest.

Is the required information the same as for hearing projects?

Regardless of whether there is a hearing or not, the company must consider the requirements of the Filing Manual when preparing its application. The Board carries out a thorough technical assessment of all applications it receives. As listed in Chapter 1, the NEB considers all relevant information prior to making its decision. The amount of information the NEB expects companies to provide is relative to the type of project and the potential impact on people, the environment, land use, Aboriginal rights and interests, and the level of public interest.

Changes to the Route:

Changes to a route after a certificate approval include modifications or variations that are within the right-of-way, within the approved corridor, or sometimes beyond the area approved by the large project certificate. Changes to the route can be made for a variety of reasons, such as to avoid rare plant and animal species not previously identified, to avoid obstacles on private lands, to accommodate landowner requests, or because of the type of soil or geography in the area of construction.

Does the company still need to consult with landowners and the public on these projects?

The NEB Filing Manual states that the NEB expects companies will start a consultation program as soon as possible in the planning phase of a project. The program will provide relevant and timely information that is accessible by the public and continues throughout all phases of a project. An individual may receive formal project information in person, read about the project in the newspaper, or find out about it at an open house in their community.

Sometimes, the company will provide an affected party with a non-objection letter for your signature. Usually this letter will state that there are no outstanding concerns about the project. Signing this letter may also be seen as an indication that there is no intention to participate in the NEB process.

Will there still be a public NEB process?

Projects which do not go through a hearing can still involve the public. Individuals or groups may still submit a letter of comment to the Board for consideration. Sometimes projects under this category generate a lot of interest from the public and a public hearing (oral or written) may be held.

For further details on how the Board assesses project applications where a hearing is not required, see National Energy Board Handbook for Facilities Applications on the Board’s website by going to "Participation & Lands" , "Information of Interest", "Hearing Process Handbook".

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