Hearing Process


If a company wants to build or change an NEB – regulated pipeline they apply to us for permission.

Applications are reviewed and we make recommendations whether or not a major pipeline project should move forward.

Many factors are considered such as the project’s safety and design, the overall benefits of the project, and potential negative aspects.

For major pipeline projects, our review can include a public hearing. When you imagine a hearing, you might think of a court-like scenario with people standing up to speak, presenting evidence and asking questions. This is called an oral hearing. However, NEB can also decide to have a hearing entirely in writing.

To announce a hearing, the NEB will send out a Hearing Order. It contains information on how to participate and specific details about the hearing.

If you’re interested in participating, visit our website, read the Hearing Process handbook or listen to an online info session to learn about the NEB’s process.

Before you can become a participant, however, you must “Apply to Participate” using the NEB’s online form. Be sure to explain how you are directly affected by the project or what information or expertise you have that will help the Board in its review.

If you participate as a Commenter, you share your views on the project with the Board in a written letter of Comment. Your letter will then be available for all Canadians to read.

And as an intervenor, you could present written evidence and question others on theirs.

Your final argument can be done orally or in writing. The information you submit will also be available to the pubic.

Funding is available for qualified intervenors.

The Board reviews all evidence and makes recommendation to government whether to approve a major pipeline project.

If a project is approved, the company must meet all conditions upon approval. The NEB will conduct inspections, audits and use other tools to make sure of this.

We also review the proposed pipeline route, which must be approved before a company can start building.

For more information on the NEB, please see our other videos or contact the NEB directly.

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