The regulatory process for the proposed Mackenzie Gas Project
involves many permits and approvals and will require
cooperation among several regulatory agencies. These
agencies will decide whether to issue permits and authorizations,
and might impose conditions on their approval. The project
participants will then assess whether to proceed with the
The Mackenzie Gas Project requires approvals from federal,
territorial, provincial and settlement area regulatory authorities
responsible for assessing and regulating energy developments.
In October 2004, the project proponents filed applications for
the Mackenzie gathering system and Mackenzie Valley pipeline, and three
development plan applications for the anchor fields.
Click here to view the contents of the application submissions
The regulatory process is complex and regulatory authorities
are working to develop procedures to coordinate it. The coordination
efforts could affect the project schedule.
The Environmental and Regulatory
The following shows the four main steps of the regulatory
process for the Mackenzie Gas Project.
Step One: Preparation
Step Two: Preliminary Information Package
(PIP) and Trigger Applications
Step Three: A Joint
Review Panel Hearing and Coordinated Regulatory
Step Four: Completion of the Regulatory
Regulatory agencies develop a common understanding
and approach to evaluate proposals to build a
pipeline. The regulatory Cooperation Plan is developed.
Regulatory agencies* review the PIP and trigger
All agencies evaluate the proposed project and
determine a potential exists for environmental impact
or public concern. As a result, the project is referred to
the Joint Review Panel for an environmental impact assessment.
Major regulatory applications for most parts of the project are submitted by the proponents in October 2004.
Public hearings are held to listen to the views
of the public about the possible impacts of the
The public has an opportunity to voice any concerns
and to influence the project.
If regulatory approvals are given for the pipeline
project, licences and permits will be issued that
outline the conditions to be met.
Project proponents will make a decision whether
to proceed with construction.
NOTE: *The National Energy
Board, the Environmental Impact Screening Committee
of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and the Mackenzie
Valley Land and Water Board.
Preparation (Step One)
Mackenzie Gas Project requires approvals from federal, territorial,
provincial and settlement area regulatory authorities responsible
for assessing and regulating energy developments.
To make the regulatory process clearer, the agencies involved
agreed to collaborate to make the environmental assessment
and regulatory processes for the project more efficient and
effective. This resulted in the regulatory Cooperation
Plan being developed, to:
- satisfy the needs of all northern agencies
- honour land claim agreements
- satisfy the regulations of all federal and territorial
The procedures in the plan are intended to coordinate the
regulatory process, while recognizing the
independence of each regulatory authority. The plan describes
how the applications will be considered by the
regulators during public hearings.
to view the Cooperation Plan for the Environmental Impact
Assessment and Regulatory Review of a Northern Gas Pipeline
Project through the Northwest Territories (1037 KB PDF)
A copy of the Cooperation Plan can be obtained from the Northern
Gas Project Secretariat and the National
Preliminary Information Package and Trigger
Applications (Step Two)
The Mackenzie Gas Project submitted the Preliminary Information Package
(PIP) to regulatory agencies in June 2003. The PIP outlines
plans for all aspects of the project, including communication
and consultation with communities. It also includes information
about how a pipeline might affect the environment and the socio-economic conditions
of the North.
The Mackenzie Gas Project also filed a land-use permit and water
licence application with the Mackenzie Valley Land and
Water Board to trigger the regulatory process in the
By April 2004, all regulators had completed a review of the PIP and
the trigger applications. The following regulatory authorities
- federal agencies, such as the National Energy Board, Fisheries
and Oceans Canada, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and Environment
- the Environmental Impact Screening Committee of the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, which assessed the PIP to decide if the proposed project might have an impact on the people and environment in the region.
- the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, which conducted a preliminary screening of the PIP and trigger applications.
The regulators' review of these documents resulted in the
project being referred to the Joint Review Panel for a thorough environmental impact assessment.
Environmental Assessment and Regulatory Review (Step Three)
In October 2004, the Mackenzie Gas Project filed the Environmental Impact Statement of the project for review by the Joint Review Panel. The project proponents also filed the major regulatory applications for all parts of the project with the National Energy Board. Filing these applications initiated the formal environmental assessment and regulatory review of the project.
Click here to view the contents of the application submissions
The Joint Review Panel process will ensure the project receives a thorough environmental impact assessment. The Joint Review Panel consists of seven members selected by the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB),
the Inuvialuit Game Council and the federal Minister of the Environment.
The environmental impact assessment will consider the potential affect of the project on the environment and on the social, cultural and economic well-being of the residents and communities potentially affected.
A parallel regulatory review of the project relating to licensing and permitting is also required. The regulatory review will involve hearings conducted by the National Energy Board, the NWT Water Board, and the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board.
Final hearing arguments had been announced for April 2010. The National Energy Board had outlined its process and plan for the remaining months.
The environmental impact assessment and regulatory review, although separate, will be coordinated.
On December 16, 2010 The National Energy Board issued a new release informing of the Reasons for Decision GH-1-2004 with respect to the Mackenzie Gas Project.
Click here to view the contents of the Reasons for Decision GH-1-2004
In addition to the main applications, more than 4,000 licences, permits and agreements will be required during the planning, construction and start-up phases of the project. Categories include:
- benefits and access agreements
- wildlife compensation agreements
- land use permits
- surface tenure agreements
- water use licences
- quarry permits
- bird sanctuary access permits
- authorizations under the Fisheries Act and the Navigable Waters Act
Completion of the Regulatory Process (Step
If regulatory approvals are given, licences and permits will
be required, outlining the conditions to be met. A
decision by the project proponents will be made whether
to proceed with project construction. The decision
- the terms and conditions of regulatory approvals,
- the results of engineering, commercial and public
- other factors, such as natural
gas markets, fiscal terms and the cost of construction and
Many opportunities exist for the public to be involved
at every step of the regulatory process. To learn more about
how to participate, please contact your regional Mackenzie
Gas Project representative.
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