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No objections to Enbridge Line 3 replacement filed by landowners

Published in June, 2017

The Brandon Sun

By: Ian Froese
Posted: 06/16/2017 3:00 AM

Enbridge has not received a single formal objection from affected landowners to its planned multibillion-dollar pipeline replacement and expansion set to run through Westman.

The Calgary-based energy company was required to directly serve notice to all affected landowners, as well as publish details in local newspapers, to give residents the chance to file their opposition to the plan.

Concerned landowners had 30 days from when the notice was received to object, though no person in the three Prairie provinces took the opportunity, a spokesperson with the National Energy Board told The Brandon Sun.

Enbridge has since informed the National Energy Board, in a letter dated June 8, they have taken the necessary disclosure steps and are looking for their plan, defined as the Plans, Profile and Books of Reference, to be approved.

Formal objections, if deemed legitimate, would have driven the National Energy Board to hold a public hearing.

The project, however, is not a done deal.

In addition to regulatory hurdles still to cross on both sides of the border, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs was granted leave earlier this year to apply for a judicial review of the pipeline’s approval by the federal government.

While Suzanne Wilton, an Enbridge spokesperson, told The Brandon Sun in May she could not speak to the review as it was before the courts, she was "confident in the process that was undertaken to consult with indigenous communities as well as the review that was done."

Enbridge has engaged with 150 indigenous communities from as far away as 300 kilometres from the pipeline’s right-of-way, according to the company.

The existing pipeline has been in service since 1968, transporting crude oil from Alberta, through Westman and into the U.S.

In southwestern Manitoba, the line runs south of the Trans-Canada Highway. It travels south of Cromer toward Souris and Nesbitt, before sharpening its descent as it heads west of Somerset and Winkler en route to the U.S. border.

The $7.5-billion Line 3 replacement and expansion would nearly double the current pipeline’s volume to 760,000 barrels a day.

Construction is expected to begin this year, primarily in Saskatchewan and Alberta, although some Manitoba work might also start. The project is expected to take approximately two years to complete.

In their June 8 letter to the National Energy Board, Enbridge stated they intend to begin construction on the pipeline and its associated facilities on Aug. 1.

This spring, trucks have delivered pipeline materials to at least two locations in Westman — northwest of Nesbitt beside Carroll Road and the Souris-Glenwood airport.

» ifroese@brandonsun.com, with files from Tyler Clarke

» Twitter: @ianfroese