Burnaby appealing NEB decision that let Kinder Morgan bypass sections of city’s bylaws

NEB approves some preconstruction on Trans Mountain pipeline project
WATCH: Then National Energy Board has made three decisions giving approvals for some preconstruction work on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project. The work is focused on the pipeline tunnel entrance on Burnaby Mountain in B.C. Gary Bobrovitz reports.

Kinder Morgan’s controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is about to become embroiled in a new legal challenge.

The City of Burnaby is appealing a decision made last December by the National Energy Board (NEB) that said Kinder Morgan didn’t have to comply with two sections of the city’s bylaws.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain pipeline doesn’t have to follow Burnaby, B.C. bylaw sections, can start work: NEB

The sections required Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC to have preliminary plans and tree-cutting permits for project-related work approved by the city.

Trans Mountain had raised constitutional questions about such bylaws.

But the city is fighting back.

“The modern practice is that the regulations of all levels of government apply to any project,” said lawyer Greg McDade.

WATCH: Global News coverage of Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion

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“B.C. has as much right to have a say over the environment and the pipeline as Alberta or Ottawa.”

The legal challenge comes as tensions escalate between B.C. and Alberta, with the federal government saying it’s determined the project will be built.

“There’s some question over whether you can absolutely stop a project, but to the extent that you can regulate it, both levels of government have powers of environmental regulation,” said McDade.

READ MORE: B.C. government strikes another blow to stop Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion

Meanwhile, the NEB has issued three decisions for the expansion approving the tunnel route through Burnaby.

The $7.4-billion project will expand an existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby.

The proposal was first put forward in 2013.

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The National Energy Board (NEB) approved the expansion in 2016, subject to 157 conditions.

READ MORE: City of Burnaby doubles down on anti-pipeline stance after NEB hearing announcement

The project will involve 980 kilometres of new pipeline, 12 new pump stations and 20 new tanks.

The new line will carry bitumen that’s diluted with a chemical condensate and pump close to 900,000 barrels a day. This would almost triple its current capacity.

~With files from Jesse Ferreras