The National Energy Board says the environmental impacts of oilsands development won't be part of its review of Kinder Morgan's proposal to nearly triple the size of its Trans Mountain pipeline.
Even though Kinder Morgan hasn't filed a regulatory application for the project yet, the NEB has released a list of issues it intends to weigh during the review process.
The federal energy watchdog says it will look at the project's impact on landowners and First Nations along the route, as well as the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the pipeline.
It will also look at whether the project is needed, effects from marine shipping activities and how potential accidents and malfunctions will be handled.
But the scope of the review won't encompass the potential impacts of the oilsands crude that would be in the pipe, or the end-use for the oil.
If built, the Trans Mountain expansion would see the capacity of the line from the Edmonton area to the B.C. Lower Mainland expanded from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day. It would be one means of getting landlocked Alberta crude to lucrative Asian markets.
The existing, almost 60-year-old, 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline system provides the only West Coast access for Canadian oil products, including the majority of the gasoline supplied to the Interior and south coast of British Columbia.