The Northern Pipeline Agency (Agency) has been the federal regulator of the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline in Canada since the Northern Pipeline Act was passed in 1978. The Agency serves as a single window for the federal regulation of the project, consolidating regulatory functions and coordinating with other departments and levels of government to reduce duplication and streamline the regulatory process while ensuring robust environmental protection and maximization of socio-economic benefits.
The Agency was established by the Northern Pipeline Act in 1978 and, in the context of the 1977 Agreement between Canada and the United States of America on Principles Applicable to a Northern Natural Gas Pipeline. The Agency has a mandate to carry out federal responsibilities in respect of the planning and construction of the Canadian portion of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. The Agency plays a key role in supporting efficient and expeditious regulatory approval while ensuring environmental protection and social and economic benefits for Canada.
The Agency was created under the Act in 1978 to:
- facilitate the efficient and expeditious planning and construction of the Canadian portion of the Alaska Highway Gas Pipeline (AHGP) project, taking into account local and regional interests, the interests of the residents, particularly of Indigenous Peoples, and recognizing the responsibilities of the Government of Canada and other governments, as appropriate;
- facilitate, in relation to the pipeline, consultation and coordination with the governments of the provinces, the Yukon Territory, and the Northwest Territories;
- maximize the social and economic benefits from the construction and operation of the pipeline while at the same time minimizing any adverse effect on the social and environmental conditions of the areas most directly affected by the pipeline; and
- advance national economic and energy interests and maximize related industrial benefits.