July 8, 2014 4:50 pm
Updated: July 8, 2014 5:54 pm

Burnaby mayor says tank farm expansion would endanger lives


The City of Burnaby continues to oppose Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline and tank farm expansion.

Kinder Morgan is proposing to triple amount of storage at its tank farm facility on Burnaby Mountain to 5.6 million barrels by adding 14 new, larger tanks. The 12 existing tanks on the mountain will remain.

Mayor Derek Corrigan says a report by the fire department shows that any expansion of the tank farm would pose a risk to adjacent neighbourhoods and endanger lives.

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“The more our Fire Department examines Kinder Morgan’s proposal for expansion of the tank farm, the more concerned the City gets about Kinder Morgan’s expansion proposal,” says Corrigan.

The report indicates the closest home is only 20 metres away from the tank farm, and the site is surrounded by residential and industrial property as well as the UniverCity development and Simon Fraser University.

“These factors pose significant constraints from an emergency/fire response perspective, including, but not limited to, safety of firefighters and effectiveness to combat fire; containment and extinguishment of fire/spill/release; evacuation of employees within the Burnaby Mountain Terminal facility; evacuation of adjacent neighbourhoods, as well as broader areas impacted by release of sulfur-based gases and toxic smoke plumes; and, protection of adjacent properties, including conservation lands,” reads the report from the Burnaby Fire Department.

The report also says Kinder Morgan’s ability to respond to a large scale emergency such as a fire at the tank farm is limited, and the Burnaby Fire Department would be the first responders.

“The limited capability for Kinder Morgan to provide an emergency response to such major events could have significant impacts to unprotected lives and properties, as well as to surrounding environmentally sensitive areas and conservation lands,” reads the report.

Kinder Morgan insists their existing tank farm in Burnaby is safe.

The company says that in 60 years, the facility has never seen a fire. The tank farm predates most of the residential development in the area.

Each tank has a set of “fire eyes” or a fire wire, equipment that will trigger an alarm if flames erupt, and the site is also manned 24 hours a day.

Kinder Morgan says a nearby pump can draw foam and water from an on-site reservoir, and the mixture can be applied through pipes directly connected to the tanks in case of fire.

Corrigan says Burnaby will continue to oppose the expansion of the tank farm and the Kinder Morgan pipeline at the National Energy Board.


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