The government of Quebec has filed a request for an injunction to force TransCanada Corporation to submit its $16 billion Energy East pipeline proposal to provincial environmental review and assessment.
TransCanada is pursuing an application for the project’s approval before the National Energy Board, but a portion of the proposed line’s route passes through Quebec. Twice in late 2014, Quebec says, its Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, wrote to TransCanada reminding the Alberta-based company that its project “was subject to Québec environmental impact assessment and review procedures, and that it was in the company’s interest to respect the will of Quebecers in this matter,” a government statement said.
The province said it received no response from the company, even after TransCanada submitted its application to the NEB last December, and “in the face of its neglect, the government took action.” The issue “is not only a matter of respect, but equally a question of fairness towards all companies that wish to do business in Quebec,” Heurtel said in the release.
“This application must not be interpreted as the government being for or against the project,” he emphasized. Quebec’s Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) will hold hearings on the Quebec portion of the Energy East project later this year, the government says, and its report will “will assist the government’s reflective process in developing the position it will take at the NEB hearings.”
Last month a coalition of Quebec environment groups filed a separate court motion against TransCanada Corporation over its refusal to submit its controversial Energy East pipeline to provincial review. (h/t to The Energy Mix subscriber and Smarter Shift Senior Advisor Shelley Kath for first pointing us to this story.)