Canada Pushes for Stronger Environmental Reviews on Pipelines


As a part of his goal to rewrite and strengthen environmental laws in Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will overhaul the country’s pipeline regulator in hopes to restore confidence and credibility.

Last Monday the federal review of environmental assessment rules were unveiled and included a strategy for how to modernize the National Energy Board regulatory agency by toughening environmental laws, cutting emissions, and expanding consultation with the country’s indigenous communities.

The review paves the way for setting new rules regarding a range of environmental projects and industries, including oil pipelines. The Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna announced the creation of a panel to review current environmental-assessment laws.

The review process has extended time on pipeline projects already under review, including TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion.

The goal of the review is to act in the best interest of Canadians and restore their trust in environmental assessments, having now created significant uncertainty for pipeline construction in the country.