Energy East Facing Just One Injunction

CBJ — TransCanada will have to fight just one injunction request related to its Energy East pipeline project after a court ruling earlier this week.

An environmental law group was seeking an injunction to force TransCanada to be subject to Quebec’s Environment Quality Act.

But Quebec Superior Court Justice Martin Castonguay ruled the legal proceedings can be folded into a similar court action that has been launched by the Quebec government.

Quebec wants TransCanada to provide a more detailed account of its Energy East proposal, which would result in a more complete environmental review process than the one currently taking place.

TransCanada lawyer Robert Torralbo argued it was up to Quebec’s attorney general to ask the courts to force a company to respect a law and that citizens cannot make such a demand unless the government refuses to do so.

Although Castonguay noted the environmental law group’s application for an injunction came before the Quebec government’s, he ruled that it was reasonable to combine the requests to avoid multiple, similar cases.

Quebec’s environmental review agency is scheduled to begin a second round of public hearings into the Energy East proposal on April 25.

The first hearings wrapped up in March with citizens from across the province grilling TransCanada executives on the risks and costs associated with the pipeline.

Energy East would bring 1.1 million barrels of oil a day from Alberta and Saskatchewan through Quebec and onto News Brunswick for overseas shipping.

Environmentalists argue the pipeline will increase Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and prevent the country from meeting its climate change commitments.

Proponents of the pipeline say Alberta’s oilsands need to be developed for the country to grow its GDP and have the money available to transition to a lower-carbon economy.