Federal Court of Appeal to rule Wednesday on letting pipeline appeals proceed

OTTAWA — The Federal Court of Appeal says it will reveal Wednesday whether a new set of legal challenges to the Trans Mountain pipeline project can proceed.

The federal government has twice approved a plan to twin an existing pipeline from Alberta's oilpatch to the B.C. coast.

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Last year the Federal Court of Appeal tore up the original approval citing both an insufficient environment review and inadequate consultations with Indigenous communities.

The Liberals say they fixed both problems and approved the expansion a second time in June.

Environment groups still say there are not adequate protections for endangered marine species that will be affected by tanker traffic picking up oil from a terminal in suburban Vancouver.

Several First Nations say the federal government came into the most recent discussions having predetermined the outcome.

The court will decide Wednesday on 12 requests to appeal the June approval.

The federal government bought the existing pipeline and the unfinished expansion work for $4.5 billion last year, promising to get it over the political opposition that had scared off Kinder Morgan Canada from proceeding.

The move disappointed environmentalists, who say the global climate can't handle more emissions from Alberta's oilsands and the eventual burning of the petroleum they produce. The Liberals say they'll use any profits from the project to fund Canada's transition to a cleaner-energy economy.

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