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NEB issues certificate for Trans Mountain Pipeline

The National Energy Board has issued a certificate for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after it was approved by Ottawa on Tuesday but is seeking input from affected parties and the public on its resumption of regulatory processes.

Regulator is seeking input from affected parties and the public

The NEB has given its formal OK to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, a 1,150-kilometre project would involve placing an additional larger pipe along the route of an existing pipeline. (Terry Reith/CBC)

The National Energy Board has issued a certificate for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion after it was approved by Ottawa on Tuesday but is seeking input from affected parties and the public on its resumption of regulatory processes.

The federal regulator says it will accept public comments online or via fax or mail, for two weeks, until July 5, and has set a deadline for initial company comment of next Friday, with reply comments due on July 9.

It is proposing to continue processes that were underway and to rely on decisions and orders issued before the Federal Court of Appeal struck down federal approval of the project last August, "unless relevant circumstances have materially changed."

On Wednesday, Ian Anderson, CEO of the Crown corporation building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, said shovels could be in the ground by September and oil could be flowing in new segments of the pipeline between Edmonton and the West Coast by mid-2022.

But that timeline depends on the NEB being able to reinstate the record from the previous regulatory proceedings so that the project can be brought back to the same state of construction readiness as last summer, he said, a process he expected to take some weeks.

The NEB says it wants to provide clarity on next steps for the project as efficiently as possible.

The 1,150-kilometre project would involve placing an additional larger pipe along the route of an existing pipeline, to increase the potential supply. After myriad delays, the federal government bought the project for $4.5 billion last year, to make sure it would survive long enough for a willing private sector buyer to be found to complete it.

While the NEB certificate is a step toward completion of the project, it does still face some hurdles, including opposition from various groups in B.C.

The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would double the amount of oil that can travel along an existing pipeline route from Alberta to the B.C. coast.

With files from CBC News

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