WATCH (above): The Mayor of Burnaby has taken a stand against Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline. Jas Johal explains why.
The Mayor of Burnaby says that if Kinder Morgan’s application to expand their pipeline is approved without amendments, he’d stand in front of a bulldozer.
“I know I’m [ready], I know that residents will stand there with me. I’m prepared to fight this out to the bitter end. I’m incensed with how we’ve been treated,” says Derek Corrigan, one day after Burnaby formally requested the National Energy Board reject the proposed expansion due to a lack of sufficient information.
“So far, we’re not even certain what the route is. They originally came out talking about twinning their pipeline within their existing right of way. That sounds pretty benign. But 90 per cent of the pipeline in Burnaby is through a different route. And it’s tripling the capacity, not doubling it…and we can’t even tell them where it’s going to go.”
Kinder Morgan filed their application to the National Energy Board in December to nearly triple the flow of oil through its Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton to the British Columbia coast.
But after reading through their 15,000 page application, the city says they’ll only support the project if they amend their proposal to the National Energy Board – a process that could take months.
“This isn’t delivering oil to us in B.C…this is about sending dirty oil to China where it can be refined without the high environmental standards we require,” says Corrigan.
Aside from changes in the route of the pipeline, the mayor is concerned about the proposed increase in holding tanks on Burnaby Mountain, which could hold up to 15 million barrels of oil.
“It’s above a residential neighbourhood and below a residential neighbourhood, and there’s no information in the application in how a leak will be handled in a way that doesn’t assume Burnaby’s resources will be fully engaged,” says City of Burnaby lawyer Greg McDade.
In a statement, Kinder Morgan argued their proposal had clear details.
“The application filed with the NEB includes details of the pipeline route and facilities, an assessment of the environmental and socio-economic effects, marine transportation and the engineering components of the proposed expansion project. The application reflects our goal of building the safest pipeline possible and providing local benefits to communities along the pipeline,” wrote Scott Stoness, VP Regulatory for Kinder Morgan.
The city disagrees.
“There’s practically nothing on the key issues for Burnaby.”
– With files from Jas Johal and Jill Bennett
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