Panel set to reveal long-awaited findings of Mackenzie pipeline report

The Canadian Press ~ The News
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CALGARY - A panel weighing the effects a proposed natural gas pipeline could have on Arctic ecosystems and communities is about to reveal its long-awaited findings.
The federally appointed Joint Review Panel is set to publish its report on the Mackenzie Gas Project online Wednesday afternoon - more than three years after it was first expected to.
The more than 1,200-kilometre, $16.2-billion pipeline would traverse pristine permafrost in the Northwest Territories as it carries natural gas from fields near the Beaufort Sea coast south to the Alberta boundary.
Companies backing the project have been frustrated by the slow pace of the regulatory process, and some aboriginal groups along the route have been waiting anxiously to see some of the development's economic benefits.
However, Stephen Hazell with the environmental group Sierra Club of Canada says the panel has good reason to take its time, given the massive scope of the project.
The federal National Energy Board is set to begin its hearings in April, and will incorporate the Joint Review Panel's recommendations in its final decision on whether the project can go ahead.

Organizations: Sierra Club of Canada, National Energy Board

Geographic location: CALGARY, Arctic, Northwest Territories Beaufort Sea Alberta

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