On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the National Energy Board (NEB) became the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). For further information please visit our Implementing the Canadian Energy Regulator Act information page

Chapter 4: Approval of the Detailed Route of a Pipeline

For projects that do not require a certificate, the Board most often permits the company to construct the project without further process. For projects that do require a certificate, the company cannot construct the project until it has applied for and received NEB approval of the detailed or exact route.

What is a "PPBoR"?

If a certificate is issued, the company is required to file its Plan, Profile, and Book of Reference (PPBoRs) with the NEB. A plan and profile is a drawing of the pipeline as seen from above (aerial view) and from the side (profile view) showing the exact proposed location of the pipeline. The book of reference identifies the lands, provides the names of the landowners and land occupants, and shows the dimensions (length, width and total area) of the right-of-way required for the pipeline.

How can I learn about the company's application for the detailed route?

Once the company files the PPBoRs with the NEB, these documents are available to the public.

The company must publish a notice in local newspapers and give written notice to all landowners who have an interest in the lands along the pipeline route. The newspaper notice usually includes a map and a list of the lands crossed by the pipeline. It will explain how objections to the detailed route can be filed with the Board.

Landowners who have an interest in the lands which will be crossed by the pipeline route will be provided with a notice in person. This notice will show where the detailed route proposes to cross the landowner’s property and will provide information on how the landowner can oppose the proposed route.

Who can oppose the detailed route of a pipeline?

You can oppose the detailed route if you are a landowner who has been served with a notice about the detailed route of the pipeline. You can also oppose the detailed route if you are a person who anticipates that your lands may be adversely affected by the proposed detailed route of the pipeline.

You can oppose the detailed route (exact location) of the pipeline or the methods or timing of the construction of the pipeline.

If you are concerned about the project itself, no matter where the route is, you should participate earlier in the process. Early participation in the process could mean during consultations with the company before or during the project planning phases and at the certificate hearing. If you are a landowner whose land is crossed by the pipeline you are directly affected

The detailed route approval process takes into consideration issues related to the exact location and construction of the route - it does not reassess the decision to approve the project.

Some landowner concerns about routing might be better addressed during the certificate hearing than at the detailed route stage.

What is meant by "methods and timing of construction"?

Methods of construction describes such things as how the company plans to clear the pipeline right-of-way, remove and store the top soil, install the pipeline, and reclaim the lands. Timing of construction could refer to the time of year when the company plans to build the pipeline, and/or the length of time the construction is expected to last.

How do I oppose the detailed route and how much time do I have to file my opposition?

If you want to oppose the detailed route you must send a letter to the NEB. The statement of opposition must include:

  • your interest in the lands that will be crossed by the proposed route, or in other lands that you believe will be adversely affected; and
  • your reasons for opposing the proposed detailed route; the route location, the methods of construction, or the timing of construction of the pipeline.

The NEB Act sets out how much time you have to send your written objection. A person whose lands are crossed by the pipeline has 30 days from the date they receive notice of the detailed route. A person who thinks their lands may be adversely affected by the detailed route of the pipeline has 30 days from the last day the advertisements appeared in a local newspaper.

These timelines are fixed in the NEB Act so it is important for landowners to file their statements with the Board before the 30-day period expires.

Do you have templates I can follow?

Yes, templates can be found on the NEB's website by going to "Participation & Lands" and then "Templates for Public Participation".

What happens after I send in my opposition to the detailed route?

The NEB must conduct a detailed route hearing if persons whose lands are crossed by the pipeline or others whose lands are affected raise legitimate objections within the 30 days about the specific details of the pipeline route or about the methods or timing of the construction.

If an objection is withdrawn, the NEB does not have to hold a detailed route hearing. The NEB can also reject any objections that deal with issues outside of its jurisdiction (such as compensation), or that are found to be frivolous, or not made in good faith.

For more information about compensation, see Chapter 7. At any time, the NEB’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services are available and can occur at the same time as a detailed route hearing. Often landowners and companies have been able to resolve issues without needing to participate in a detailed route hearing.

Can I participate in someone else's detailed route hearing?

Besides the landowner who opposes the route, anyone with an interest may apply to the NEB to participate in the detailed route hearing. You must follow the requirements for filing an intervention as described in the National Energy Board Rules of Practice and Procedure, 1995. The NEB will decide whether you will be allowed to participate as an intervenor

See Chapter 5 for information on detailed route hearings.

What if there is no opposition to the route?

The NEB may approve the PPBoRs for those parts of the proposed detailed route that do not have any statements of opposition. The company will then file the approved PPBoR with the appropriate land titles or registry offices in whatever province they relate to, and the company can then begin construction along these approved segments of the detailed route.

Can the Board approve the route in segments rather than in whole?

Yes, the Board can approve a route in segments. The Board will not approve parts of the route that are subject to any statements of opposition and may also withhold approval on parts of the route that are near to the areas where there are statements of opposition. Work on the pipeline in any non-approved section cannot proceed until the Board approves that section of the route and all of the necessary land rights are acquired. Approval could follow a settlement between the landowner and the company or Board decision after a detailed route hearing.


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Detailed Route Approval Process
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