08/08/2016 06:16 EDT | Updated 08/09/2017 01:12 EDT

National Energy Board opens hearings on Energy East Pipeline in New Brunswick

SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Environmental groups quizzed executives of TransCanada Corp. today on their plans in the event of an oil spill along the proposed Energy East pipeline.

Groups including Nature Canada and the Sierra Club are at the opening session of National Energy Board hearings in Saint John, N.B.

Company executive John Van der Put says the key is to put in place a rapid response to any emergency anywhere along the pipeline.

Van der Put says the company would be able to have field personnel on site within three hours of a spill and equipment on site within six hours.

He says TransCanada (TSX:TRP) does site-specific planning to ensure those response targets are met.

As part of the $15.7 billion development, oil would be shipped through the 4,500 kilometre pipeline to Saint John, where it would be refined.