The lack of foresight by municipalities and others in preserving corridors for utilities means that there are increasingly fewer opportunities to locate linear facilities in large urban centers such as the City of Toronto. In those corridors that do exist, there are competing land uses that make it difficult to accommodate any new use. Many of these land uses are directly related to the people living adjacent to and in the vicinity of the corridors. In 2003, the Ontario Energy Board approved new “Environmental Guidelines for the Location, Construction and Operation of Hydrocarbon Pipelines and Facilities in Ontario”. The Guidelines include specific new requirements for planning pipelines in urban areas. Among other things, these new requirements involve the identification of indirectly affected landowners and a more detailed analysis of public issues and how they were resolved. Through the use of a case study, this paper identifies the public issues that were encountered in planning the location of a NPS 36 (Nominal Pipe Size 914 mm or 36 inch diameter) natural gas pipeline through residential neighbourhoods in the City of Toronto and the Town of Markham. It also describes how the public involvement requirements contained in the Ontario Energy Board’s new guidelines were incorporated into the planning process. The case study begins with a rationale for the study area selected. A description of the public issues follows. The techniques used to address these issues and the success of the public involvement program that identified 180 directly affected and 3,200 indirectly affected landowners is documented. The study results illustrate that it is possible to plan a right-of-way through an urban corridor in such a manner as to satisfy the general public, be compatible with existing development, conform to the new Ontario Energy Board Guidelines and minimize the amount of remedial work required to mitigate the impacts occurring on and adjacent to the right-of-way.

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