Energy East Re-Boot: A New Year Brings A New Panel

31 January 2017  

As the rather tumultuous first month of 2017 winds down there is something to celebrate.  The newly appointed National Energy Board (NEB) Hearing Panel to review the proposed Energy East pipeline announced that they would re-start the process.  This means that all decisions made by the first hearing panel are void including:

  • Determination that the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications are complete;

  • Decision to review the Energy East and Eastern Mainline applications via a single hearing;

  • List of Participants and any subsequent individual rulings on participation;

  • Lists of Issues and factors to be included in the environmental assessments under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012; and

  • Hearing Order.


The new Panel and re-booted process comes following the recusal of the original Hearing Panel for apprehension of bias.

ECELAW is representing Intervenors Nature Canada and Nature New Brunswick in the hearing process.  Both organizations have raised concerns over the potential impact that the proposed pipeline project may have on the unique ecology of the Bay of Fundy.  Atlantic Canadians have strong connections to the waters and tides of the Bay, and ensuring that this ecosystem remains vibrant is frequently on our minds.

It is time now to turn our attention to the new hearing process.  A few things have changed since the original Energy East application was submitted to the NEB in 2014:

  • Canada has officially ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement;

  • Canada has announced full support of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;

  • Our federal government has approved two pipelines in Canada (Kinder Morgan and Enbridge Line 3);

  • The new US administration has all but given the go ahead for the Keystone XL pipeline; and

  • Canadians are engaged in comprehensive reviews of the federal environmental assessment process and the National Energy Board.

A re-booted Energy East pipeline assessment must be undertaken in light of Canada’s current reality.  ECELAW will continue to work with our clients to ensure this reality is clear and the Bay of Fundy is protected.