TransCanada gets final regulatory approval for Prince Rupert gas pipeline

CALGARY – TransCanada Corp. says it has received final regulatory approval for a natural gas pipeline that will connect northeastern British Columbia’s natural gas fields to the west coast.

The company said Tuesday that the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission has issued 11 pipeline and facility permits that clear regulatory hurdles for construction to start on the $5-billion pipeline.

The pipeline approval includes 70 conditions related to First Nations, the environment, conservation, engineering and reporting.

The 900-kilometre pipeline will run from Hudson’s Hope, B.C., to Lelu Island near Prince Rupert, connecting the province’s Montney natural gas fields to the planned Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas facility.

TransCanada said Pacific NorthWest LNG has already given condition approval for the pipeline but is waiting to secure federal environmental permits for its liquefied natural gas plant before giving the final go-ahead to start construction.

Some First Nations continue to oppose the natural gas project including the Luutkudziiwus — a group within the Gitxsan Nation — which says it plans to challenge the pipeline’s environmental approval in court.

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