CALGARY – The National Energy Board says it is accepting written comments on motions calling for two of three people to step down from a panel reviewing the Energy East Pipeline over perceptions of bias.
The move follows revelations, first reported by the National Observer, that panel members Jacques Gauthier and Lyne Mercier met privately with Jean Charest early last year while he was a consultant for TransCanada (TSX:TRP), the company behind the $15.7-billion Energy East project.
Numerous environmental groups have called for the two panel members to recuse themselves from the review because of what they say is a reasonable apprehension of bias.
The national regulator has said that at no time during meetings with Quebec stakeholders did NEB officials permit any inappropriate discussions on pipeline projects under review.
The NEB said it will accept written comments on the matter until Sept. 7, after which it would consider the submissions and establish any further steps, if necessary.
In the meantime, the NEB said it would continue with the Energy East panel session set to run in Montreal next week.