CALGARY — The joint review panel hearing submissions on the controversial Northern Gateway oil pipeline to the B.C. coast will take a year longer than expected to deliver its final report.
In a projected schedule released late Tuesday, the three-member panel said it “would anticipate releasing the environmental assessment report in the fall of 2013 and its final decision on the project around the end of 2013.”
That’s a year later than expected, confirmed Annie Roy, panel spokeswoman.
“The final hearings were scheduled to start in June of 2012, meaning the panel would have probably released its report in the fall of 2012,” she said.
“So the schedule now is almost pushed a year.”
Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. is pursuing the $5.5-billion, 1,200-kilometre pipeline that would transport up to 525,000 barrels per day of crude from Alberta’s oilsands and oilfields to ocean-going tankers. The line would help alleviate Canada’s reliance on the United States as its only major market for oil.
A coalition of aboriginal groups said last week it will create a human wall to prevent the pipeline from north of Edmonton to the B.C. coast from going ahead, and environmental groups have hinted at civil disobedience.