B.C. files to be intervener in new National Energy Board hearings on pipeline

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government wants to take part in the National Energy Board's reconsideration of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Environment Minister George Heyman said Wednesday the government has registered as an intervener in the next set of hearings after the Federal Court of Appeal tossed out the board's first approval of the project.

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The court found the board failed to properly consult First Nations on the expansion project and that it didn't consider the risks of tanker traffic on the marine environment.

The former B.C. Liberal government was an intervener in the first hearings. A spokesman for the energy board said in an email that as long as the province registers its intent to take part, it will be accepted again as an intervener.

Heyman said the government is concerned that the 22-week time frame for the reconsideration isn't long enough to accommodate a thorough review that allows Indigenous groups to fully participate.

"But we will be intervening and making those points as well as other points with respect to the need to protect B.C.'s environment, coast and economy," he said in an interview.

The federal government announced Wednesday that it won't appeal the court decision and instead has appointed a former Supreme Court justice to conduct a round of consultations with Indigenous groups.

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