Alton Natural Gas Pipeline

From Global Energy Monitor
This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.

Alton Natural Gas Pipeline is an operating natural gas pipeline in Nova Scotia, Canada.[1]


The pipeline runs from the gas storage station in Alton, Nova Scotia and the existing Maritimes & Northeast Gas Pipeline.[1]

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Project Details

  • Operator: Alton Natural Gas Storage LP[2]
  • Owner: AltaGas[2][3]
  • Parent company: AltaGas[2][3]
  • Length: 10.8 km[2]
  • Capacity:
  • Diameter:
  • Status: Operating[1]
  • Start Year: 2018[1]
  • Cost:
  • Financing:
  • Associated Infrastructure:


The pipeline is a part of a natural gas project in Nova Scotia, Canada. The project includes a gas storage station, well pad facilities and gathering pipe headers between the station and the well pads. The pipeline associated with the project runs between the gas storage station and the existing Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline.[1]

In October 2021, AltaGas announced the decision to decommission the Alton Natural Gas Storage Project. The company submitted their plan for decommissioning to the Province of Nova Scotia, and on August 23, 2022, received approval to proceed with decommissioning.[4]


AltaGas has been pursuing the underground natural gas storage project in Nova Scotia for almost 20 years, starting with exploration in 2002. The energy company selected a site in Alton, N.S., with underground salt deposits that, if removed, could make room for up to 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas. The will use water from the Shubenacadie River to flush the salt deposits and then gradually return the briny mixture back into the river.[5]

The provincial government granted Alton Gas environmental approval in 2007 and the project has inched forward slowly. Progress was slowed by opposition from First Nation tribes, including the Sipekne'katik and the Mi'kmaq. A group of Mi'kmaw women called the Grassroots Grandmothers and their supporters opposed the storage project based on environmental concerns.[5]

In 2016, Margaret Miller, the former environment minister, gave the Alton Gas project industrial approval. The decision was appealed by six parties, including Sipekne'katik First Nation. The appeals claimed Miller's department didn't adequately consult with First Nations or use credible or sufficient scientific evidence when investigating the project's potential environmental impacts. Miller dismissed the appeals, but Sipekne'katik took its complaint of inadequate consultation to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. Sipekne'katik is asking for more consultation, but not necessarily to quash the Alton Gas Project. In 2017, a Supreme Court justice quashed the minister's dismissal based on her department's failure to disclose documents to the First Nation.[5]

In spring 2019, after giving Sipekne'katik time to respond to the new material, Miller made small amendments to the industrial approval, but again concluded that the government's duty to consult had been satisfied. In response, the Sipekne'katik took the government to court again. The Nova Scotia Supreme Court will decide whether the government lived up to its duty to consult with the First Nation on the proposed natural gas storage project near the Shubenacadie River.[5]

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Alton Natural Gas Storage Project, Nova Scotia, Hydrocarbons Technology, accessed August 31, 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Department of Environment and Climate Change (2009-04-01). "Alton Natural Gas Pipeline | Environmental Assessment". Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Alton Natural Gas Storage". Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  4. "Alton Natural Gas Storage". Retrieved 2023-09-13.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Taryn Grant, First Nation's appeal of Alton Gas project back in court, CBC, February 18, 2020

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