This past Wednesday, the National Energy Board (NEB) quietly announced that it is taking applications for public participation in its review of Kinder Morgan’s proposal to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
The window for individuals, business and groups to apply is quite short, with applications being accepted between January 15 and noon (PST) February 12. If you don’t apply during this 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 this form. This may feel daunting but we and our colleagues are here to help you have a voice in this process. Here’s how:
Read more about the process, to learn about webinars the NEB is providing and to fill out the online application form.
Step 2. Learn more about what’s involved in participating in a NEB hearing process.
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). This website provides step-by-step advice alongside each page of the NEB online form.
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. We and other organizations will be working together to hold workshops and webinars, and post information on our websites, to offer advice and help you fill out the form. Here are a few confirmed workshops and community meetings you can attend to get help:
Feb 3 – 7pm, Maple Ridge (hosted by Pipe Up Network and ForestEthics Advocacy)
Feb 4 – 7pm, Chilliwack (hosted by Pipe Up Network and ForestEthics Advocacy)
Feb 5 – 7pm, Abbotsford (hosted by Pipe Up Network and ForestEthics Advocacy) Feb 5 – 7pm, North Vancouver (hosted by ForestEthics Advocacy)
Feb 5 -12pm, webinar (hosted by West Coast Environmental Law, Forest Ethics and Sierra Club BC)
Feb 6 – 2pm – 8pm, Langley (hosted by Pipe Up Network and ForestEthics Advocacy)
Feb 8 – 7pm, (note date change) Pender Island (hosted by Raincost, Gulf Island Alliance and GSA)Feb 10 – 7pm, Downtown Vancouver (hosted by ForestEthics Advocacy)Feb 11 – 6pm, Victoria (hosted by the Wilderness Committee)
The NEB process seems designed to ensure as few as possible people take part – restricting public participation, creating a primarily online process (getting hard copy forms is possible but must be requested through the NEB and takes time) 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.
· 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). 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. Here is a guide to help.
· Don’t let the first page dissuade you – setting up your account to apply is straight forward. The NEB has added a first level of access that seems designed to frustrate possible participants – don’t give up! Select “GCKey Login” and apply for your access key. It won’t take long and soon you’ll be through to the actual form.
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.