The Agency is accountable for managing the federal regulatory process in relation to the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline project. It is responsible for processing and assessing most regulatory submissions relating to engineering, environmental and socioeconomic matters under the Northern Pipeline Act (Act) [PDF 421.18 kb]. It is also responsible for other matters such as regulatory guidance and surveillance. While the project has valid certificates and an easement through Yukon, more regulatory approvals are required before construction could begin.
The proposed two-stage regulatory process envisioned by the Agency for Stage 2 has the following objectives:
- Meet or exceed modern environmental and socio-economic standards
- Ensure safe pipeline design and construction
- Secure maximum socio-economic benefits
- Contribute to the Government of Canada’s duty to consult Aboriginal people
- Offer opportunities for public engagement and interaction
- Respect existing federal approvals and commitments
In the first stage of the regulatory process, Advisory Councils established under s.19 of the Northern Pipeline Act will hold community meetings along the pipeline route in Yukon and B.C., to review updated environmental and socio-economic information and identify gaps and seek views from the public and Aboriginal people directly affected by the project.
The results of the Advisory Council review would inform the second stage of the process, the regulatory phase, led by the Designated Officer, a National Energy Board member appointed by Governor in Council as a regulatory official under the Act.
The Designated Officer would consider these reports in determining whether to add, amend or rescind any environmental and socio-economic terms and conditions. The reports would also go to the Minister and be relevant to a broad spectrum of federal, provincial, territorial and First Nation regulators.
The Designated Officer would also review the environmental and socio-economic plans and programs submitted by TransCanada, and would have broad authority with respect to compliance monitoring and enforcement. As is the case with any pipeline project, federal respresentatives will be present in the field during construction to inspect and verify compliance with the federal regulatory approvals and any applicable federal requirements. Authorizations from other regulators would potentially be applied for and reviewed during this second stage of the regulatory process.
For more information on the regulatory process, please refer to the Federal Regulatory Framework for the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline Project presentation [PDF 536 kb] shared at the November 30th, 2011 regulatory workshop in Whitehorse, Yukon.