The National Energy Board has decided to move Energy East to the review phase.
The announcement came this afternoon as the NEB said the pipeline project had met a “completeness threshold” in planning, allowing them to move to the consultation and review phase. The next step of the process will involve NEB panels in communities along the proposed route of the pipeline.
“This is an important and welcome milestone,” said Energy East President John Soini. “We look forward to participating this fall in the panel sessions.”
The panels in Quebec communities could offer the fiercest opposition to the project. In January, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and other municipal leaders signed on to a coalition to condemn the pipeline.
Over the past three years, TransCanada has adjusted the route of the Energy East project over 700 times based on feedback from communities and experts. They note that the company is still working on how to get across the Ottawa River in an “optimal” fashion, and are waiting on permits to assess the crossing properly.
The Energy East Pipeline would carry bitumen resources from Alberta to Saint John, New Brunswick to give access to Atlantic markets. The pipeline currently stops in the Ottawa valley, and would need to be extended through Quebec into New Brunswick.