Tuesday, September 18, 2012

NEB Decommissioning - Pipeline Abandonment without landowner participation

Recently I wrote about an application filed by TransCanada Pipelines Limited for the "decommissioning" of part of its NOVA pipeline system in Alberta.  The National Energy Board (NEB) has created a category of "decommissioned" for pipelines permanently removed from service, but in situations where service on the "pipeline" system continues (i.e. customers are not affected).  The responses to information requests issued to TransCanada by the NEB reveal the dangerous position into which this "abandonment but not abandonment" places landowners.

Essentially, TransCanada is abandoning its pipeline in place.  However, since there is no abandonment application required under Section 74 of the NEB Act, there does not need to be a public hearing and there does not need to be landowner participation in the decision-making process.  Even if there was participation available, landowners would have no access to participant funding from the NEB; this is not one of the types of applications for which funding is made available (much like the ongoing abandonment cost estimate hearing process in which landowners must fund their own participation).

Read TransCanada's responses to the information requests at: NOVA response.