Emera Brunswick Pipeline Co. Ltd. (EBPC) is free to start construction of its pipeline to serve the Canaport LNG (liquefied natural gas) terminal project of Repsol YPF and Irving Oil now that the Friends of Rockwood Park (FORP) has dropped legal action opposing the project.

FORP had been suing Canada's National Energy Board (NEB) for judicial review, alleging that the NEB's review panel failed to consider an alternative pipeline route before approving the Brunswick Pipeline. FORP had previously sought to have the Federal Court of Appeal overturn the NEB's approval, which it refused to do. According to FORP lawyer Lara Tessaro, as reported by the Saint John, NB Telegraph Journal, the prevailing parties -- Canada's attorney general, Emera and Repsol -- were "aggressively" seeking recovery of their court costs from FORP.

Rather than face the prospect of paying thousands of dollars in legal costs to its opponents, FORP decided to drop its challenge, Tessaro said. "So what they're going to be focusing on is trying to ensure that the environmental assessment of the St. John River crossing is rigorous and transparent."

Brunswick Pipeline President Robin McAdam said his company will now be able to begin construction on the project in early November as planned.

"FORP have played a valuable role to date in this community in raising awareness of the project and providing in put on environmental mitigation," McAdam said. "We look forward to that input continuing."

The Brunswick Pipeline is planned to be a 145-kilometer (90-mile) pipeline to deliver gas from the planned Canaport terminal near Saint John, NB, to markets in Canada and the U.S. Northeast. Emera Brunswick received environmental approval from the NEB in April (see NGI, April 16) and final approval shortly after (see NGI, June 4). The NEB also approved tolls for the pipeline and EBPC's request to be designated as a Group 2 company.

Repsol is the only shipper on the Brunswick Pipeline, according to the document outlining the NEB's reasons for approving the project. According to the NEB, Repsol and Brunswick Pipeline reached a negotiated toll agreement dated May 15, 2006.

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