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Pipeline expansion review faces legal challenge from B.C. First Nation

A totem pole on the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, a gift from the Lummi Nation in Washington state, frames the Chevron Burnaby Oil Refinery in the distance after the totem was unveiled during a ceremony in North Vancouver, B.C., on Sept. 29, 2013.

Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press

A B.C. First Nation has launched a legal challenge of the National Energy Board's planned review of a controversial pipeline project.

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation is disputing the board's decision to review Kinder Morgan's proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline between Alberta's oil sands and Metro Vancouver.

Last month, the National Energy Board announced it would hold hearings beginning in August, allowing 400 interveners out of more than 2,100 applicants.

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The legal challenge says the energy board shouldn't be permitted to begin the review until it meaningfully consults with the Tsleil-Waututh, which the band says hasn't happened.

The band describes the board's planned review as "one-sided" and says it will operate under a rushed timeline that is designed to avoid scrutiny.

Texas-based Kinder Morgan's $5.4-billion pipeline expansion would give it the capacity to transport up to 890,000 barrels per day from Alberta to the company's terminal in Burnaby.

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