Information for Proposed Pipeline or Power Line Projects that Involve a Hearing

Information for Proposed Pipeline or Power Line Projects that Involve a Hearing [PDF 2126 KB]

Revised February 2017

The Role of the National Energy Board

Pipeline Construction SiteThe National Energy Board (NEB or Board) is an independent federal regulator established to promote safety and security, environmental protection, and economic efficiency in the Canadian public interest. We regulate pipelines, international power lines, energy development and trade. The Board reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources.

Before a company can develop a pipeline or power line that crosses provincial or international borders, it must apply to the Board. For most projects that involve a hearing, the Board examines whether the project is in the public interest, and then provides a report to the federal government recommending whether the project should proceed and what conditions should be attached to any approval. The federal government reviews the Board’s recommendations and decides whether or not to approve the project. If the project is approved, the Board issues a certificate authorizing the project to proceed.

The Company’s Consultation Program for Large Scale Projects

NEB Inspector on SiteFor large scale projects, the Board requires companies to conduct a consultation program with all individuals, groups and agencies that may be affected by the project. The consultation program should be initiated early in the planning and design phases of the project, and should provide information about the project, its potential impacts and benefits. Potentially affected groups and individuals must be given opportunities to raise their concerns about the project and have them considered by the company. The Board expects that companies consider how they will ensure respect for both of Canada’s official languages and how project information will be provided and communicated to potentially affected persons or groups in the official language of their choice to ensure their effective and meaningful participation in the Board process.

The company’s consultation program should continue throughout the planning and design phases of the project, the regulatory review phase and - if the project is approved - during construction, operation and abandonment. The Board expects the company to respond to any concerns it might receive through the life of the project.

Staying Informed

Anyone who has concerns about a project should discuss them with the company first. You are encouraged to learn about the project by attending open houses and information sessions put on by the company, contacting their representatives for information, reading the material that is sent to you, and viewing the company’s website.

Once an application is received from a company, the NEB will send out a notice about the hearing and next steps. It may also include information about the process for applying to participate and what methods of participation will be available (such as Intervenor or Commenter). This notice may be called a Hearing Order. You may see this notice in your local newspaper or receive a copy in the mail. It will also be available on the Board’s website.

Becoming Involved

A hearing may have an in-person (oral) part but always has a written part where parties to the hearing can file evidence and ask questions. For hearings on large scale projects, you will need to apply to participate and demonstrate that your participation will assist the Board in its review of the application. To participate in a hearing, you must either be directly affected or have relevant information or expertise. The Board is required to hear from persons who are directly affected, and may hear from persons who have relevant information or expertise.

The Board is committed to fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French in Canadian society. During a hearing, you can participate in the official language of your choice. The Board provides services and public communications in both of Canada’s official languages and you can communicate with the NEB in your official language of choice. The Board’s bilingual staff are also ready to assist you.

Use this Pamphlet for

Electricity Power LineThis pamphlet outlines the general information and process for applications that will involve a hearing, such as the construction and operation of pipelines that are more than 40 kilometers long, some international power lines and certain other physical projects.

For Further Information

For copies of any NEB publication or for more information, contact us:

  • Online:
  • Email:
  • Toll free: 1-800-899-1265
  • Write us or visit our library at:
    National Energy Board
    Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue SW
    Calgary, Alberta  T2R 0A8
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