NEB says Energy East application too hard to understand, orders changes

Federal energy watchdog wants information repackaged in a way that's easier to navigate

CALGARY — The National Energy Board says TransCanada’s application to build the Energy East pipeline is too hard to understand and is directing the company to make changes.

The federal energy watchdog isn’t asking the Calgary-based company to file a whole new application, but wants the information repackaged in a way that’s easier to navigate.

The NEB says the structure, format and flow of the application needs work so that those participating in the hearing process can make sense of it and easily find specific information.

TransCanada (TSX:TRP) has until Feb. 17 to provide a proposed table of contents for the revised version and let the board know when it plans to file the complete document.

The company first submitted its application to build the Alberta-to-New-Brunswick pipeline in October 2014.

The document was 30,000 pages at the time — filling 68 binders in 11 boxes — and the NEB says it has since become even more unwieldy.

“When considering the numerous supplemental reports, project updates, errata and amendments coupled with the sheer volume of information presented in the application, the board is of the view that the application, in its present form, is difficult even for experts to navigate,” it wrote to TransCanada.

“The board is concerned that it will be even more difficult for the general public to comprehend and navigate. The board is also concerned about the impact of this on the fairness and efficiency of the hearing process and the potential burdens on all parties.”