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NEB to assess Energy East, Eastern Mainline projects concurrently

The National Energy Board is set to review TransCanada Corp.'s Energy East and Eastern Mainline projects concurrently after receiving comments that the projects are closely interrelated and are best assessed simultaneously.

The Eastern Mainline Pipeline is a proposal to build new gas pipeline and related components that would stretch about 279 kilometers in Ontario from near Markham up to Brouseville. The project is contingent upon the approval of the Energy East Pipeline Project, according to a March 29 news release.

The Energy East project, if built, will span 4,500 kilometers from Alberta and Saskatchewan to refineries in eastern Canada and a marine terminal in New Brunswick, and transport 1.1 million barrels of crude oil per day. The new hearing panel moved to void all decisions by the previous panel on the applications for both projects, including a decision to review both through a single hearing.

Despite the decision to review the two projects concurrently, the new panel will still issue separate lists of issues and carry out separate environmental assessments for each. When appropriate, oral sessions will also be held specific to each application. Separate recommendations reports will be prepared and submitted to the federal cabinet at the end of the review.