Additional obligations for Enbridge’s Line 9

The National Energy Board (NEB) has approved two of Enbridge’s condition filings with regard to the Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project (Line 9) while imposing additional obligations for the lifecycle of the project.

Enbridge’s previous submissions on conditions 16 (valve placement) and 18 (watercourse crossing management plans) were insufficient. Based on additional information provided by Enbridge, the NEB has found that the company has adequately demonstrated that its methodology for the number and placement of valves is currently appropriate. There have been 17 new valves installed as a result of the hearing process; there are now a total of 62 valves along the pipeline.

The approval of these conditions does not conclude the NEB’s regulatory oversight of the project. We are a lifecycle regulator – from proposal, through operation and to abandonment. The Board recognizes the sensitivity of the location of the Line 9 pipeline. We will make sure Enbridge is doing what it takes to keep their pipelines safe. As such, the Board has imposed obligations on Enbridge requiring the company to submit within the next 12 months:

  • Data, location and analysis, including a risk/benefit analysis, of an additional group of valves. This would include rationale considering whether they should be installed.
  • Further to condition 25, an analysis of all the water crossings and identifying whether any additional valves are needed based on that analysis.
  • Updates to the intelligent valve placement assessment that takes into consideration the additional data.

To ensure consistent oversight, the NEB Chair has taken the extra measure to authorise a member of the Board, pursuant to section 14 of the National Energy Board Act, to review all future filings for this project. This member is authorised to act with the full authority of the Board.

The obligations imposed are in addition to the several post-construction conditions that Enbridge was already required to meet, including the requirement for ongoing consultation and continued emergency management planning. The Board takes protection of people and the environment seriously and it expects the same of the companies it regulates. Prior to operating the pipeline, Enbridge must apply for, and be granted, final leave to open.

Adapted from press release by Hannah Priestley-Eaton

Published on 06/02/2015

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