ARCHIVED - CEO and Chair of the NEB responds to article in Ottawa Citizen

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Re: Pipeline concerns sought by NEB; Government, not board, will make decision in the end

Dear Editor,

The article written on February 27 does not accurately describe the National Energy Board's decision-making authority around pipeline projects.

Governor in Council (GIC) has had the final word on approving NEB decisions since 1959. A decision by the Board to deny a certificate was final and not subject to further approval. On July 6, 2012, the Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity Act (Bill C-38) came into effect, including legislative changes to the National Energy Board Act. Now, recommendations for both approvals and denials of major pipeline projects must go to the GIC for a decision. The NEB's report on a project will include conditions to be attached to any certificate issued. The GIC may refer back to the Board its recommendation or its terms and conditions for reconsideration, but the NEB makes the final decision as to what its recommendation will be and what terms and conditions would apply.

For pipeline projects that include less than 40km of new pipeline, such as Enbridge Line 9B and applications related to pipeline tolls and tariffs, the Board continues to make the final decision.

The Board operates at arm's length from government. We are independent experts dedicated to the safety of Canadians and the environment. For every pipeline project application, the Board undertakes a comprehensive analysis of the proposed design, construction and operation of that pipeline project, as well as the environmental and other impacts of the project. This analysis supports any recommendation or decision the Board makes as to whether or not a project is in the public interest.

Gaétan Caron
Chair and Chief Executive Officer
National Energy Board

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