ARCHIVED – Trans Mountain Expansion Part IV (Traffic, Tolls and Tariffs) Application - FAQs

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What is this Part IV application about?

This application is asking the Board for approval of the toll methodology that would be implemented on the proposed Trans Mountain expanded system, if it is eventually expanded.

How does the Board assess a toll methodology application?

In assessing a proposed toll methodology, the Board considers whether the resulting tolls would be just and reasonable, and not unjustly discriminatory to any shippers. To determine these things, the Board considers all relevant factors specific to each application.

The List of Issues that the Board identified as relevant to this Part IV tolling application hearing is available on the NEB website as Appendix I of the Hearing Order [Filing A47743].

When will the Board make a decision on the Part IV toll methodology application?

While there is no legislated time limit for a Part IV application, the Board still considers all applications in a timely manner.

The oral portion of the hearing is scheduled to begin on 13 February 2013.  The NEB is committed to its service standard of issuing 80 per cent of its decisions within 12 weeks after the hearing record closes, following the completion of the oral portion of the hearing.

Why is the hearing being held in Calgary?

A tolling methodology application under Part IV (Traffic, Tolls and Tariffs) of the NEB Act does not require that the Board hold a public hearing but the Board may convene one if it deems it appropriate. For this application, the Board has decided to hold an oral public hearing. While the oral portion of the hearing is in Calgary, it is only one Part of the hearing process. Parties may still participate in the written question process, file evidence, as well as file written final argument.

The Board stated in its 25 September 2012 Hearing Order cover letter [Filing A47743]: “In deciding the hearing venue as it has, the Board was mindful that this Application is not for a physical linear project which might otherwise justify selecting a venue local to the project. In this case, those who most stand to be directly impacted by the Board’s decision have asked for a hearing in Calgary.”

If the Board approves the Part IV tolling methodology application, would that automatically result in an approval of the Part III facilities application?

No. The NEB assesses each application on its own merits. Regardless of the Board’s decision on the Part IV tolling application presently before it, if Trans Mountain decides to proceed with its proposed plans to expand the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system, it will need to file a Part III facilities application with the NEB for approval, which will be assessed on its own merits.

The Board stated in its 25 September 2012 Hearing Order cover letter [Filing A47743]: “The Board notes that any decision it makes on the Part IV Application does not bind the Board in any way on the assessment of, or recommendation on, any future Part III Application, including any potential conditions that may be attached.”

When will the public have an opportunity to raise issues they may have about the construction of facilities related to the expansion?

If Trans Mountain applies for any approval under Part III of the NEB Act - to build the facilities associated with the expansion - the Board would be considering whether it should recommend that the company be allowed to proceed and what conditions would be attached.

If a Part III facilities expansion application is filed, the Board will hold a public hearing. Those who will be directly affected by this proposed expansion project will have the opportunity to participate in the public hearing. In addition, the Board’s Participant Funding Program will be available for the hearing, which will assist intervenors with their participation expenses.

Why is the Board hearing the Part IV tolling methodology application prior to the filing of a Part III application to build the facilities associated with the expansion?

The Board stated in its 25 September 2012 Hearing Order cover letter [Filing A47743]: “In the Board’s view, it would not be appropriate to wait for a potential Part III Application before hearing the Part IV Application. The Board has been properly seized by the Part IV Application and must proceed to consider this application and adjudicate on it. The Board is of the view, and in agreement with Trans Mountain on this point, that, in addition to providing commercial certainty prior to investing in a Part III Application which could be a significant undertaking, the issues are different between a Part III Application and a Part IV Application. A person interested in commercial matters may not be interested in hearing land routing issues and vice-versa thus having separate hearings may bring more efficiencies to the interested parties involved in any proceeding.”

When can I attend an NEB Information Session about the Part III facilities hearing for the expansion?

If the Board receives an application or project description it will determine at that time how to inform the public about the hearing process. For a facilities application, public information sessions would typically occur along the proposed pipeline route.

You are encouraged to monitor the Board’s website or your local newspaper to find out about process information that may then be issued in relation to this future application. You can then request an information session at that time.

Where can I learn more about the Board’s hearing processes?

You can learn more on the NEB website in National Energy Board Hearing Process Handbook.

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