Dear National Energy Board: Can we have TransCanada’s Energy East maps that inform, not confuse?

In the same spirit as the NEB letter sent two weeks ago to TransCanada ("the Board is of the view that the application, in its present form, is difficult even for experts to navigate"), other groups are now coming forward to ask NEB to correct other deficiencies in the TransCanada's Energy East application.

"February 17, 2016

Peter Watson, Chair and CEO, National Energy Board
517 Tenth Avenue SW, Calgary, Alberta, T2R 0A8

Dear Mr. Peter Watson,

The maps submitted by TransCanada to the National Energy Board are difficult to read and use by the general public.  They confuse rather than inform the reader."

TransCanada Energy East Project, Appendix Vol 5L-89
New Brunswick Segment – Cumberland Bay Section
Detailed Route Map (Sheet 71)

The letter to the National Energy Board is clear.  TransCanada needs to go back to the drawing board and produce Energy East maps for landowners and communities that are not confusing and are not missing key information.  This is the message outlined in the letter signed last night by representatives of several Greater Saint John groups who have been opposing the proposed Energy East pipeline project, including the Saint John chapter of the Council of Canadians, and Red Head Anthony's Cove Preservation Association.  Also signing the letter was an affected landowner Colin Seeley as well as retired engineer Horst Sauerteig.  

"These maps are contrasted by the easy-to-read and understand maps provided by Kinder Morgan for their proposed TransMountain Project:"

Kinder Morgan’s Detailed Submission and Maps

"Kinder Morgan also includes a zoomable map on this website for their proposed pipeline:"

Kinder Morgan's interactive map for TransMountain Pipeline Project

"We respectfully request that you ask TransCanada to provide online maps that are understandable and easy to read.  This includes a zoomable map on their website similar to the one provided by Kinder Morgan for the TransMountain Pipeline Project."

"Basic map conventions should be followed by TransCanada:

  • show natural and man-made features;
  • naming features on the map (e.g. highway, stream, lake, community);
  • use contours or other map features on the map to depict the land surface;
  • show the general area in all directions from the pipeline, not just a select narrow corridor;
  • all maps are oriented with the north at the top of the map (a standard map convention) which allows for readers to quickly relate to the direction in the real world (east, west, north and south); and
  • lat/long map coordinates are provided at regular intervals."

"It is surprising that TransCanada has large colour map books available at their Open Houses for viewing but do not allow pictures to be taken of their map books, nor do they have these same maps available on their website or in the NEB application documents."

Photograph by Mark D'Arcy (taken Nov. 5, 2015 at TransCanada's Open House, Saint John, NB)

"In closing, we would like to stress that maps are fundamental to how we see and understand the world around us. How can the public feel the NEB review process is “fair, transparent and respectful" if they can’t read the proposed route maps provided online by TransCanada?   Providing maps to the public and communities is certainly a minimum standard for showing integrity in the review process of TransCanada’s proposed Energy East Project."  

"We look forward to online maps for the proposed Energy East Project that are understandable and easy to read.  Thank you for your attention to this important matter."

(1) National Energy Board - Strategic Plan

We regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.

Integrity: We are fair, transparent, and respectful.