March 5, 2007

NEB calls for comment on proposed conditions to accompany any approval for Mackenzie gas project

CALGARY, ALTA-The National Energy Board (NEB) has issued for comment a series of proposed conditions that could be attached to any approvals that it may issue for the Mackenzie gas project. Ordinarily, proposed conditions attached to an approval would be released for comment in conjunction with the approval, but in the case of the Mackenzie gas project, not all potential conditions will be known until after the parallel Joint Review Panel hearing and report are completed. The Board says releasing some proposed safety and design conditions will keep the regulatory process moving forward by allowing the applicants and other participants in the hearing to comment on this group of conditions now. The conditions are being released under the authority of the NEB Act and the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act (COGOA), and are oriented toward three phases of the project: pre-construction, construction and operation. One proposed condition, for example, is a requirement for an emergency response plan to address worker, public and environmental safety in the remote northern operations environment. The NEB is asking hearing participants to submit written comments by March 30, 2007 at noon (Mountain Standard Time). The proposed conditions have been sent to all participants in the NEB hearing on the project and have been posted on the NEB Web site, under "Mackenzie Gas Project." The Board further notes that it may periodically issue further proposed conditions for comment before the end of this hearing process.

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