The National Energy Board has ordered construction halted on a $350-million natural gas pipeline through Saint John.

Emera was supposed to start clearing land Monday for its planned Brunswick Pipeline but failed to get approval to begin work from the National Energy Board.

The request to begin construction was denied because information relating to the environmental protection for area species was not addressed by Emera, said Carole Léger-Kubeczek, a communications officer with the National Energy Board.

Among the criteria set down by the board that the company has not met isa restoration plan for Rockwood Park in Saint John.

In a letter to the company, the boardasked formore detail about the park restoration plan, including how reclamation will be achieved.

Last week, Emera applied for a variance that would have allowed it to start clearing the land while the company worked toprovide the board with the required information. The request was denied.

"Until this information has been completed and submitted to the board and reviewed by the board, the approval to start the clearing will not be granted," Léger-Kubeczek said.

Emera spokeswoman Susan Harris saidthe delay won't mean any long-term setbacks for the project and the company still hopes to be able to start clearing before the end of November.

The 145-kilometre, 76-centimetre-diameter pipeline will deliver natural gas from the Irving Oil-Repsol LNG terminal at Mispec Point to the U.S.-Canada border near St. Stephen, N.B., where it will connect with the Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline.

It is expected to be completed by late 2008.

With files from the Canadian Press