The government of Canada recently announced its approval of NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.’s (NGTL) Towerbirch Expansion Project subject to 24 binding conditions.
Canadians have told the government that it must protect the environment for future generations while growing the economy and creating good, middle-class jobs. The government is making responsible decisions about moving Canadian energy to markets while investing in clean technology and supporting the long-term transition to a lower-carbon energy mix.
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Jim Carr made the announcement March . “Approving the Towerbirch Expansion Project subject to binding conditions reflects the government’s principled approach to developing and transporting Canada’s natural resources in a way that creates jobs and protects the environment,” Carr said.
The $439-million project will involve the construction of two new pipeline sections totalling approximately 87 kilometres along with associated facilities in northwest Alberta and northeast British Columbia.
The Towerbirch Expansion Project will create up to 750 jobs during construction, address the need for increased natural gas transmission capacity along the existing NGTL system and support economic growth. Approximately 82 percent of the project will parallel existing rights-of-way or existing disturbances, and 89 percent will be located on private land.
In January 2016, the government announced a set of interim principles to guide decisions on major projects already being reviewed while longer-term reforms to environmental assessment processes are underway. The Towerbirch project was assessed using the interim principles.
In making its decision, the government took into consideration the National Energy Board’s recommendation report on the project, Environment and Climate Change Canada’s assessment of upstream greenhouse gas emissions and the views of Canadians gathered through an online questionnaire and enhanced consultations with Indigenous peoples. The outcomes of all of these processes are available by following this link to the Natural Resources Canada website.