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Apex Utilities Inc. Drumheller High Pressure Pipeline Project, AUC Decision 28498-D01-2023

Link to Decision Summarized

Gas – Facilities

Application

Apex Utilities Inc. (“AUI”) applied for approval to install the Drumheller High Pressure Pipeline Project, consisting of approximately 1,040 meters (“m”) of new 114.3-millimeter (“mm”) natural gas pipeline as line 37 (the “Project”), in the town of Drumheller, Alberta.

Decision

The AUC approved the application from AUI.

Pertinent Issues

The Project would replace 210 m of existing 114.3-m pipeline and 140 metres of 88.9-mm pipeline. AUI requested approval of the Project because the existing section of the pipeline crossing the Red Deer River posed potential safety and operational concerns resulting from insufficient depth-of-coverage. AUI indicated that the existing sections of pipeline crossing the Red Deer River to supply the northern part of the town of Drumheller would be abandoned in place.

AUI filed a business case outlining the need for the Project, the three alternatives it considered, and how it reached the conclusion that the Project was the best alternative. AUI submitted that the Project was the most viable option due to its shortest route distance and the most cost-effective option that does not involve significant disruption to surrounding residents. Project costs would be allocated to AUI’s recurring capital program, which was approved in Decision 26616-D01-2022.

The AUC determined that the information requirements specified in Rule 007: Applications for Power Plants, Substations, Transmission Lines, Industrial System Designations, Hydro Developments and Gas Utility Pipelines (“Rule 007”) were met and that the participant involvement program complied with the requirements of Rule 007.

The AUC accepted AUI’s statement that it will comply with the requirements for all watercourse crossings in accordance with the Water Act.

The AUC found that the environmental requirements for the Project were sufficiently addressed in the environmental protection plan. The AUC accepted AUI’s commitment to follow the recommendations contained in the Environmental Evaluation and Protection Report for reducing the risk of adverse environmental impacts associated with construction and operation of the Project.

The AUC concluded that there was a need for the Project and that it was in the public interest to approve the construction and operation of the Project in accordance with s 17 of the Alberta Utilities Commission Act.

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