Next week, the National Energy Board (NEB) will start taking applications for public participation in its review of Kinder Morgan’s proposal to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
When the NEB publishes the application form (we expect on January 15th), you’ll have a short window of time (likely 30 days) to get you application in to the NEB. If you don’t apply during that window, you won’t be able to officially comment on the project when the hearings roll around a few months later.
The bottom line? If you want to tell the government what you think about Kinder Morgan’s pipeline plan, you need to fill in that form – and start preparing now.
|Photo by James Fehon|
Step 1. Sign up for updates from the NEB so you find out right away when the call for participation opens.
Step 2. Learn more about what’s involved in participating in a NEB hearing process. The NEB has yet to release full details, but here’s what we’re expecting. When you fill out the application form, you can ask to be a ‘Commenter’ (submit a letter of comment) or ‘Intervenor’ (requires greater time commitment, allows you to take part in oral hearings, and allows you to ask for information of Kinder Morgan – and them of you). To be able to participate, the NEB wants you to show that you are either ‘directly affected’ (eg. live or own property along the pipeline or tanker route, or have a job that could be affected by a spill etc.) or have ‘relevant information or expertise’ (ie. knowledge of a local place, or information about a relevant business sector such as tourism or recreation). Whatever the form ends up saying, if you feel that you will be impacted in any way by Kinder Morgan’s project, it’s worth submitting an application and going on record that you want your voice to be heard.
Find out more:
- Using your voice: participating in the NEB’s review of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline and tanker proposal (2-page briefing prepared by Raincoast, Sierra Club and Pipe Up Network)
- Let BC Decide(website from Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart)
- NEB PowerPoint presentation
Step 3. Get advice. We know the process looks daunting, and we want to make sure that everyone who cares about this issue gets the support they need to have their say. Once the NEB opens the call for applications, we and other organizations will be working together to hold workshops to offer advice and help you fill out the form. We’ll also distribute a guide to filling out the form, and will be available by email and phone to offer advice. Stay tuned to our website for more details. In the meantime, MP Kennedy Stewart is holding a workshop in Burnaby on January 25th, and his office is another good port of call for information and advice.
There are all kinds of critiques we can make about the NEB process – restricting public participation and not taking climate change into account being high on the list– but it is your one opportunity to formally state your opinion, so make sure you don’t miss out.
And don’t forget to spread the word!
Share your concerns about Kinder Morgan’s proposal with your friends, family, neighbours and colleagues, and encourage them to get involved – whether it’s by registering to take part in the NEB hearings, contacting your MP or MLA, or getting active with one of the many community groups springing up to oppose this project.