Hearing process for the West Alternative Route variance application and detailed route hearings

On October 9, 2020, Trans Mountain requested approval [Filing C08844] to change the general route of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project) for approximately 18 kilometres in the Coldwater Valley area of British Columbia. A route change such as this is called a variance. Trans Mountain’s proposed reroute is referred to as the West Alternative Route.

On 3 November 2020, the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (Commission) announced [Filing C09302] that it would hold a public hearing process (MH-032-2020) to determine if it would approve this route change, and shared how the public could register to participate.

Trans Mountain filed its Plan, Profile and Book of Reference for the West Alternative Route on December 2, 2020 [Filing C10104], which are detailed drawings showing, among other things, the exact location of the pipeline on each property it will cross, and who owns or occupies those lands. This is known as the detailed route. Trans Mountain notified all registered landowners and potentially impacted Indigenous communities of the Commission’s detailed route approval process, and published similar notices in newspapers.

Landowners and those who believed that their lands may be impacted by the proposed detailed route, how it would be constructed, and/or the timing of construction were given 30 days after receiving notice to file a Statement of Opposition (SOO) registering their objections to the detailed route.

In issuing the Hearing Order on January 8, 2021 [Filing C10826], the Commission described how the hearing would consider both the variance and detailed route, should any SOOs be received. However, as no SOOs were received, the hearing is only considering the variance. After the hearing concludes, the Commission will determine whether the variance is in the public interest.

All written evidence in the hearing was received by March 30, 2021. Between December, 2020 and May 2021, Trans Mountain responded to various written questions asked about its evidence The Canada Energy Regulator’s Crown Consultation and Accommodation Report was filed on May 26, 2021 [Filing C13255], and written argument is scheduled to be filed in June, 2021.

For more information on this project, please go to our website.

Please go to our website for more information on how the CER handles applications and runs public hearings into proposed energy projects.

Trans Mountain Expansion Project: Proposed Coldwater Valley Reroute

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