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Regulator denied Trans Mountain variance request due to pipeline safety concerns

By The Canadian Press

The Canada Energy Regulator has released its reasons for refusing a request by Trans Mountain Corp. for a pipeline variance.

The Crown corporation had applied in October for permission to use a different diameter, wall thickness, and coating for a 2.3-kilometre stretch of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project currently under construction in B.C.

The company said at the time it had run into challenges drilling through hard rock in the area and warned of a possible 60-day delay in the completion of the project if it isn’t granted a variance.

But the regulator denied that request earlier this month.

On Thursday, it provided its reasons for doing so, saying it has serious concerns about material quality and pipeline integrity if Trans Mountain goes ahead with a variance.

Last week, Trans Mountain asked the regulator to reconsider, saying the company now believes its construction challenges are more significant than first indicated and that denying the variance could result in a “catastrophic” two-year delay for the project.

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