April 03, 2014 - 7:28 PM
VANCOUVER - The National Energy Board hearings into Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline expansion through Alberta and British Columbia will begin in August and hear from more than a thousand people, groups and communities.
But only 400 of more than 2,100 applicants who applied to be interveners in the hearings will be allowed to participate.
Those groups given approval — which include communities located along the pipeline route and those with a direct interest in the project — will be allowed to question experts and company officials and present evidence at the hearings.
Another 1,250 will be allowed to submit a comment letter to the panel, but won't be able to participate directly in the hearings.
Caitlyn Vernon of Sierra Club BC says hundreds have been denied participation under new federal rules that came into effect two years ago.
She says all British Columbians deserve to have their say on the fate of the project, which will nearly triple the capacity of Kinder Morgan's existing pipeline linking the Alberta oil sands to a Metro Vancouver terminal.
The review panel will hear aboriginal evidence this August and September and hearings will begin next January.
The panel has until July 2, 2015, to complete its report and recommendation for the federal government.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2014