Kinder Morgan has officially filed an application to expand its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which would triple its capacity to ship crude oil between Strathcona County, near Edmonton, and Burnaby, B.C.
The company released a statement on Monday morning saying it had filed its application with the National Energy Board.
“For the past 18 months we have engaged extensively with landowners, aboriginal groups, communities and stakeholders along the entire proposed expansion route, and marine communities, and have carefully considered the input received during this period of study and dialogue,” said the president of Kinder Morgan Canada, Ian Anderson, in the statement.
The company said the next step will be for the NEB to establish a hearing schedule that corresponds to the federal government’s legislated 15-month period for review and decision.
Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver said the safety of the public and the environment will be taken into account in the board's "thorough, science-based review" of the project.
“Our government has been clear: we will only allow energy projects to proceed if they are found to be safe for Canadians after an independent, scientific environmental and regulatory review. That is why we are moving forward with our plans to further enhance marine and pipeline safety and to engage with First Nations on West Coast energy infrastructure," Oliver said Monday in a written statement.
Once the NEB delivers its final report, the federal government will have 90 days to review the recommendations and make a final decision on the expansion.
If approved, work on the $5.4 billion project to revamp the 1,150-kilometre, 60-year-old pipeline could be complete by late 2017, said the company.
The application for the Trans Mountain pipeline proposal comes just days before the NEB is expected to release its report in to the Northern Gateway pipeline application.
Both projects have run into fierce resistance from both environmental and political leaders in B.C. who say the projects carry too much risk for the environment.