As the City of Burnaby and the provincial government dig in their heels over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, another Lower Mainland city is retreating its “statement of opposition.”
The City of Surrey announced Tuesday they will no longer be presenting their statement at the National Energy Board’s (NEB) detailed route hearings in Burnaby.
In the statement, the city cited concerns over the pipeline’s impact on parks and recreation, biodiversity, and critical infrastructure.
According to the city’s lawyer, Anthony Capuccinello, the decision to withdraw comes after “ongoing engagement with Kinder Morgan.”
Capuccinello said this would have not been possible without filing an opposition statement.
“Once those were filed then the serious engagement begins, information is exchanged, it’s evaluated, engineers weigh in on it and then you try to resolve the issues to the extent you’re able,” said Capuccinello. “I think you would run a risk if you didn’t file a statement of opposition so that you protect your interests.”
WATCH: Global News coverage of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion
He said the ongoing dialogue with Kinder Morgan allowed the city to address their concerns without needing to present at the detailed route hearings.
Capuccinello said neither filing, nor dropping the claim, should be interpreted as opposition or support for the project.
The expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline is a $7.4-billion project that will expand the current 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Edmonton and Burnaby. The new extension is set to increase the capacity of oil products flowing from Alberta to the B.C. coast from 300,000 barrels to 890,000 barrels.
The route hearings are scheduled to continue on Friday.
~With files from Estefania Duran and Sean Boynton