Northern Gateway has confirmed it has received 11 permits from the provincial government to conduct preliminary work along its proposed pipeline right of way.
The permits, issued by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, allow the pipeline company to conduct research by collecting soil samples and other data in order to provide more specific information should the project proceed to the next level of regulatory review.
A National Energy Board Joint Review Panel will provide a recommendation to the federal government on the project's environmental assessment by the end of the year. If the pipeline goes forward Northern Gateway will need to provide the regulatory body with more specific design plans.
Northern Gateway spokesman Ivan Giesbrecht said the permits only allow for minimally invasive work. The company has requested 22 other permits which have yet to be granted.