Burnaby Oil Spill

What caused the great Burnaby oil spill of July 24, 2007, when a sewer contractor sliced into a pipeline, creating a geyser of oil? The Transportation Safety Board of Canada has released its report, revealing the classic elements common to major spills:1. The oil company, Kinder Morgan (KM), didn’t keep accurate records of its pipeline’s location. Even though it had verified parts of the pipeline location 25 times in the past 50 years, it never used this information to update its 1957 drawing.
2. The contractor relied on KM’s 1957 drawing, and did not insist on verification before construction.
3. Because of poor communication within KM, senior KM staff didn’t realize that construction of the sewer was starting.
4. KM, the consultant and the contractor each assumed that the other had primary responsibility for determining when locates were necessary.
5. None of the parties insisted on compliance with National Energy Board regulations, which required an on-site pre-construction meeting, pipeline locates before construction, and KM’s supervision of excavation.
6. The contractor hit the pipeline with its shovel 5 times before tearing it open, without noticing.
7. When KM became aware of the spill, it did not properly implement its emergency shutdown procedures, and shut off the bottom end of the damaged pipe first. This allowed gravity to force huge amounts of oil out of the hole.
This is the traditional recipe for a major accident, as documented by Braithwaite decades ago: Obsolete records, poor communication, inadequate training, and an unclear division of responsibilities. These are the very elements that quality management systems, such as ISO 14001, are meant to address. As all three parties bear some of the blame, affected property owners will likely be able to claim compensation from all three: KM, the consultant and the contractor.

Trans Mountain: The other Pacific pipeline

It is a sunny Sunday and Vancouver is doing what it does best: looking pretty and post-industrial. Morning lights up the downtown’s glass horizon. A half-dozen scooters rip down the road in a platoon. Cyclists swish past Zipcar lots, kayakers and stand-up paddle surfers ply the waters.

But just a few kilometres away, an oil tanker is preparing to raise anchor and slide into port. Soon, it will open its holds, with a total capacity of 650,000-barrels, to a flush of Alberta oil. After 30 hours of pumping, it will slip away to Long Beach, Calif. Oil tankers are, for now, relatively rare here. A tanker sails into the Vancouver harbour about once a week, docking at the Kinder Morgan-owned Westridge Terminal to accept Alberta crude flowing across the Rockies in the Trans Mountain pipeline.


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On this day, it is the 250-metre long Aqualegend that glides into place, smoothly manoeuvring alongside the Kinder Morgan dock. Its deck is spotless enough to eat off. The waters alongside the dock are clear and blue; a harbour patrol vessel has to ask crabbers to make way so the tanker can dock. Under blue skies and sunshine, exporting oil seems safe – even easy.

For Canada’s energy industry, however, the tanker route through the North Pacific is likely to be anything but.

The Aqualegend is a glimpse of what is to come: a future that could see a tanker sail past downtown Vancouver almost every day, to pick up oil from a newly expanded Trans Mountain. Kinder Morgan intends to twin the line, allowing 750,000 barrels a day – more than double the current 300,000 – to flow west. Most of the new barrels will be loaded on tankers. The project stands to change Alberta, making it an important global oil player. By placing crude on tankers that can deliver product anywhere a ship can sail, the oil industry can grab hold of global prices rather than selling its product on the cheap to its principal export market, the over-supplied U.S. Midwest. Expanding Trans Mountain stands to change Canada as well, enabling an expansion of the oil sands that will allow years of growth.

And Trans Mountain would change British Columbia’s Lower Mainland as well. Vancouver – home of the Prius taxi – could one day become Canada’s Rotterdam, a major oil tanker hub.

Yet the $4.1-billion project’s tremendous economic potential comes against a question mark nearly as big: is it even possible to build the expansion against rising anxiety that oil shipments will stain the shores of one of Canada’s biggest metropolitan areas?

Much rides on that question for Alberta’s energy industry. Take just one company: by 2020, Cenovus Energy Inc. intends to sell nearly 1 million barrels a day, most of them from projects not yet operating. It needs to find a home for those barrels, and the Kinder Morgan project is central to its plans. Already, the company is seeing a substantial lift in price for the barrels it is pumping through the existing Trans Mountain pipe and selling on the international market.

The Kinder Morgan project, in part because of its location, will likely send most of its crude to California, although some may also flow to Asia. For oil companies such as Cenovus, the destination doesn’t matter. Oil is often sold at the dock, and the price there is the international price, no matter where the crude ends up. To “unlock the value” of Canada’s crude oil, that product has to touch tidewater, says Paul Reimer, senior vice-president of marketing, transportation and power at Cenovus.

The stakes, then, are high for Kinder Morgan. In some ways, Canada’s global industrial position depends on this pipeline.

“More market connections increase our global competitiveness and position us to better receive full market value for our growing production,” says Patti Lewis, spokeswoman for Nexen Inc., which has been a supporter of the Kinder Morgan expansion. Ms. Lewis spoke before Nexen agreed to be bought out by China’s state-controlled CNOOC Ltd. for $15.1-billion, a deal that underscores the growing connections between Canadian crude reserves and Chinese energy ambitions.

First, though, Kinder Morgan must find a way to sail huge new volumes of oil beneath Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge and past Stanley Park, a jewel not just for B.C., but the entire country. And the anger that has met Enbridge Inc.’s plans to build the Northern Gateway export pipeline to Kitimat, on the B.C. north coast, is already beginning to simmer against Kinder Morgan. The company has yet to formally apply for the project – that should happen next year – and to publish a map of exactly where the new pipe would run.

Already, the mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby have spoken out against it, as have local first nations. The B.C. government has published a lengthy technical document demanding substantial upgrades to tanker safety along its coast.

Neither the ruling B.C. Liberals nor the opposition NDP, who appear headed to take over in Victoria next year, have declared a public position on the Trans Mountain expansion, but the tiff between the Alberta and B.C. premiers over Northern Gateway seems poised to envelop Trans Mountain as well.

In case of accident

Before the Aqualegend, now loaded with Canadian crude, can so much as untie from the Kinder Morgan dock, it must meet an extraordinary set of demands. Loaded tankers are treated unlike any other vessel in Vancouver, starting with the two specially trained marine pilots they must have aboard, double the normal requirement. They can sail only during daylight, at high slack water, a window that on some days allows just 25 minutes for them to move. They must travel through a clear channel, meaning other ships must wait. Each tanker is first vetted for admissibility by Transport Canada, pre-screened by Kinder Morgan – which denies entry to ships that don’t meet its standards, including one that they must be less than 20 years old – and then inspected after entry by Transport Canada. Where other large vessels must only be accompanied by an untethered tug, a loaded tanker must sail with three tugs connected to it by thick metal cables.

Some of the requirements are new, intended to build on a nearly unblemished record of oil moving through these waters.

“We have never had an accident with a tanker. Not in 60 years,” says Kevin Obermeyer, chief executive officer of Pacific Pilotage Authority Canada.

But spills do happen. Since 2001 – the only period for which it could provide records – Transport Canada has recorded some 13 incidents with oil and chemical tankers in waters near Vancouver. The worst, in 2002, saw 2,300 litres of canola oil spill. In total, over the past decade, 31 litres of petroleum has spilled in the area. But those are minor, and nothing like the Exxon Valdez spill whose memory, and ongoing environmental damage, haunts any new attempts to carry oil along the West Coast. Kinder Morgan is eager to make clear how much has changed since that 1989 disaster.

With the “Exxon Valdez, there were no escort tugs, a single-hull ship, no pilots on board,” Kinder Morgan Canada director of engineering Mike Davies says. Tankers today do not suffer those weaknesses, and the changes “make quite a difference,” Mr. Davies says.

When critics accuse Kinder Morgan of pursuing a risky expansion, the company details the long list of safeguards in place – enough, the company says, that a reasonable person should have little reason for worry.

Oil shipping, Mr. Davies says, is “a highly regulated industry, the people are well-trained and there’s lots of scrutiny of everything that goes on.”

That’s not to mention the cleanup capability on the West Coast if disaster strikes. Barely a kilometre from the Kinder Morgan dock is the headquarters for the industry-funded Western Canada Marine Response Corp., which has equipment scattered up and down the coast and a video library showing every single kilometre of B.C. shoreline, which can be used to focus a spill response. WCMRC must, by federal mandate, be prepared to clean up a 10,000-tonne, or 63,000-barrel, spill. It has 2.5 times the capacity it needs, with resources across B.C. that include 118 fishermen and barge operators trained to help.

Around Vancouver alone, it has more than five times the skimming capacity it needs for a 63,000 barrel spill.

“This coast is, I would say, in pretty good shape right now,” says Kevin Gardner, president of the response organization.

Living with the line

Derek Corrigan, mayor of the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby, does not like the oil industry. He doesn’t like how its big multinational players seem unusually capable of profit. He doesn’t like how its sweeping size and importance gives it influence with government. And he doesn’t like how it is looking to build a pipeline through his hometown, where he has served as mayor for a decade.

“Not for a moment do I trust this industry,” he says. “Early on, the promises are wonderful and the infrastructure is new.” But give it a few years and companies, he says, begin to “slack off.”

Mr. Corrigan has first-hand experience. He was mayor when a city contractor hit Kinder Morgan’s pipeline, resulting in a geyser that sprayed out nearly 1,500 barrels of oil, some of which made it into Burrard Inlet. A report by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada found that the pipe had not been properly located for the city and, while the blame did not fall entirely on Kinder Morgan, the company compounded the resulting rupture by shutting the wrong valve when it tried to halt the leaking.

In 2009, oil also spilled from a Kinder Morgan oil terminal in Burnaby; Environment Canada said the government does not know how much leaked.

For those who live along the pipeline, those accidents provide a glimpse into a possible future that terrifies them. Local groups have pointed to studies questioning Canada’s spill response – a Canadian cleanup fund has half the money contained in its U.S. counterpart, for example, and though the Canadian Coast Guard is supposed to be the lead federal agency in responding to spills, many of its vessels aren’t equipped with spill gear. While the tug requirements are strict in Vancouver harbour, they are less strict outside of the harbour than in U.S. waters just to the south. Recent government changes haven’t helped, either: a Vancouver-based Environment Canada emergency response office was closed and its responsibilities shifted to Montreal, fact that concerns spill responders.

And both Canadian and international laws place strict limits on financial liability for spills from tankers, whose owners – usually headquartered in distant countries – are held responsible. Those limits vary by product and vessel, but top out at just over $1.3-billion, far below the cost of cleaning up major accidents like the Exxon Valdez or the BP Macondo well – and even a smaller accident could prove immensely costly to clean alongside densely populated Vancouver.

That concern has driven an increasingly concerted effort by first nations to thwart the project. The final stretches of Trans Mountain cross particularly tricky territory, claimed by four first nations. Three have already publicly opposed the expansion, including, the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, whose land lies across Burrard Inlet from the Kinder Morgan dock and whose front yards look out on the water where tankers anchor. It is not a nation opposed to development: it has profited from hundreds of condominium units built on its one-mile-square reserve. But the last two Kinder Morgan spills have sent a pungent smell over Tsleil-Waututh land – and the nation, which stands to see no benefits from the expansion, is firmly against it.

If a spill happens, it could devastate “the coastline from Washington to the top of Vancouver Island,” says Ernie George, director of Treaty Lands and Resources. He points to dozens of projects undertaken by the nation to restore ecosystem function and marine life populations to the area.

“We’re trying to bring this inlet back to life,” he says. More oil “won’t help.”

Beyond the water, the pipeline itself is controversial. The Trans Mountain pipeline was built in the early 1950s, entering operation in 1954. A half-century has dramatically changed the land it crosses: Burnaby alone has quadrupled in size since then. To make the point, Kennedy Stewart, the NDP MP for the Burnaby region home to the pipeline, tank terminal and marine dock, directs a weaving route on roads that follow the yellow signs marking the pipeline’s underground path. It crosses beneath sidewalks, beside roads, past schools, through a golf course and beneath landscaped gardens. At an apartment co-op, Mr. Stewart gets out to walk, showing where it runs mere feet from backyard play sets.

Kinder Morgan has said it “will look at alternatives” in areas where buildings have cropped up close to the route. But Mr. Kennedy calls the pipeline right-of-way a “potential expropriation zone,” since people might be forced out of their homes if they stand in the way. It is, he acknowledges, an inflammatory description, but the rhetoric is intended to echo in Ottawa, as West Coast pipelines take on national importance.

That’s true for the environmental groups, too. Kinder Morgan has split its application into several parts, first working to establish tolls for the expansion. That application would normally concern only oil companies and refineries. But Vancouver’s Ecojustice, an environmental law firm, has drafted a letter it hopes municipalities, first nations and landowners will submit to the National Energy Board, in hopes they can argue for higher tolls to cover the cost of cleaning spills.

“It’s a bit novel and it’s not been tried before,” says Karen Campbell, a staff lawyer with the firm. “But we’re trying to figure out how to shine a brighter spotlight on this entire issue – and, frankly, how to slow it all down.”

Yet for all the concern, fighting this pipeline may prove difficult. Burnaby, for one, acknowledges there is little it can do, outside of helping stir up opposition. Kinder Morgan already has its dock, and substantial legal rights to the land where its pipe lies.

“It’s a 60-year pipeline on an existing right of way. They’ve had tankers there for years,” Ms. Campbell says. Compared to the battle over Northern Gateway, an entirely new pipe that would introduce tankers to waters that see very little oil movement today, fighting Kinder Morgan “is way harder.”



They are a rare bunch: the 100 men tasked with guiding ships safely through the coastal waters of British Columbia. In many ways, the safety of the vessels that sail on Canada’s Pacific coast lies in their hands.

So it’s small wonder becoming a pilot isn’t easy. It involves writing what Kevin Obermeyer, who oversees the pilots as chief executive officer of Pacific Pilotage Authority Canada, calls “one of the hardest exams in the world.”

Don’t believe him? Take a look and see for yourself. Those winding black lines show coastal features and islands. But it is intentionally blank. The test: first determine which of the 27,000 kilometres of B.C. coast the blank map depicts. Then label it, with the names of islands and points and inlets, showing where navigational aids are located, marking hazards, noting minimum depths and pencilling in safe routes. That’s just one part. Another involves starting with a completely blank page. Would-be pilots have to draw from memory whichever stretch of coast the examiner asks for.

Just getting in to write the exam is tough: only those with more than 700 12-hour days as captains on the B.C. coast can start the process, which begins with a familiarization program, where candidates must ride along on at least 10, and sometimes 30, trips.

Even then, fully 83 per cent fail the written test, where they need a 70-per-cent grade to pass.

Mr. Obermeyer points to those entry requirements as part of the reason why last year, with 12,400 vessel movements that had pilots on board, “we had four minor fender benders.”

“I’m supremely confident in their knowledge and their ability,” he says.

Nathan VanderKlippe

Transportation Safety Board of Canada: Pipeline Investigation Report P07H0040 for July 24 2007

Transportation Safet
Pipeline Investigation Report P07H0040
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigated this occurrence for the purpose of advancing transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

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Crude Oil Pipeline – Third-Party Damage
Trans Mountain Pipeline L.P.
610-Millimetre-Diameter Crude Oil Pipeline
Kilometre Post 3.10, Westridge Dock Transfer Line
Burnaby, British Columbia
24 July 2007

At 1231 Pacific daylight time on 24 July 2007, the 610-millimetre (24-inch) Westridge Dock Transfer Line, owned by Trans Mountain Pipeline L.P. and operated by Kinder Morgan Canada Inc., was struck and punctured by a contractor’s excavator bucket while the contractor was excavating a trench for a new storm sewer line along Inlet Drive in Burnaby, British Columbia.

When the pipeline was punctured, approximately 234 cubic metres of crude oil was released, approximately 210 cubic metres of which was recovered. Crude oil flowed into Burrard Inlet Bay via the Burnaby storm sewer system. Eleven houses were sprayed with crude oil; many other residential properties required restoration and approximately 250 residents voluntarily left their homes. There were no explosions, fires, or injuries resulting from this occurrence; however, emergency workers and two firefighters responding to the incident were sprayed with crude oil. Two members of the public were also sprayed.

Ce rapport est également disponible en français.

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Other Factual Information

The Westridge Dock Transfer Line (Westridge Pipeline), constructed in 1953, is a 610-millimetre (mm) outside diameter (OD) crude oil pipeline with a nominal wall thickness of 6.4 mm and a maximum operating pressure (MOP) of 3366 kilopascals (kPa). The Westridge Pipeline initiates at the Burnaby Terminal, the termination point of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system. The Burnaby Terminal comprises numerous above-ground storage tanks, piping, and valves and is at an elevation of approximately 160 metres (m) above sea level (asl). The Westridge Pipeline is approximately 4.13 kilometres (km) long and terminates at the Westridge Dock. The Westridge Dock, at an elevation of approximately 4 m asl, includes above-ground tanks and associated equipment for the delivery of crude oil to tanker vessels (see Appendix A). The rupture occurred at Kilometre Post 3.10 on the Westridge Pipeline at an elevation of approximately 74 m asl.

The Westridge Pipeline delivers from above-ground storage tanks at Burnaby Terminal to tankers at the Westridge dock using delivery booster pumps at the terminal to achieve the desired loading rate. The emergency shut-down procedure indicates that the pipeline should be shut down in an orderly manner to minimize pressure and drain-down at the leak site. The emergency procedure also indicates that product in the pipeline should be drained away from the leak site by opening valves to upstream or downstream tankage, as appropriate.

In early 2006, the City of Burnaby (Burnaby) began a project to upgrade certain water and storm sewer lines. The project included the installation of a new section of storm sewer line (sewer line) under Inlet Drive between Ridge Drive and Bayview Drive to replace a combined storm/sanitary sewer line that had been installed during the 1950s. A section of the Westridge Pipeline also ran under Inlet Drive between Ridge Drive and Bayview Drive. Because the proposed sewer line would parallel the Westridge Pipeline and the proposed lateral sewer service connections (lateral connections) would cross the pipeline, Burnaby required the permission of Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. (KMC) before construction could begin in the 30 m safety zone on each side of the pipeline. Burnaby hired a project engineering consultant (the consultant) to design as well as provide contract administration and field inspection for the water and sewer line upgrades.

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In March 2006 and again in March 2007, meetings were held between KMC and the consultant related to the project. The investigation could not determine the origin of the 1957 as-built drawing. KMC records indicated a total of 25 previous physical pipeline verifications done by KMC field inspectors. However, this information was not used to update the 1957 as-built KMC drawings nor was it used during the review of the design for the storm sewer project. In June 2006, the consultant submitted to Burnaby, as part of the preliminary engineering stage, proposed design drawings together with a preliminary design report. The consultant did not undertake any field location work during the initial design phase of the project. The design drawings were prepared by incorporating legal survey information, topographic survey data, plus any service record information about existing water, sewer, and other utilities of which the consultant was aware. The design drawings were considered 90 per cent complete at this stage.

Having forwarded copies of the June 2006 design drawings to KMC, the consultant contacted KMC in January 2007 to begin the process of obtaining the company’s written permission to construct the sewer line, associated drainage manholes (DMs), and lateral connections along Inlet Drive in the vicinity of the Westridge Pipeline. The drawings indicated a constant offset of 8.5 m from the east property line for the Westridge Pipeline. They also indicated that the construction work would take place within 3 m of the pipeline. KMC checked the location of the Westridge Pipeline on the design drawings against the as-built pipeline drawing, dated April 1957.

On 01 March 2007, KMC returned the approved crossing agreement and the design drawings, annotated by KMC, to the consultant. The agreement set out a number of conditions to be met before work could commence in the 30 m safety zone (see Appendix B). The crossing agreement1 was executed between Burnaby and KMC. The following conditions formed part of the agreement:

the depth and location of the Westridge Pipeline is to be verified by hand-digging or by Hydro-Vac in the presence of a KMC inspector;

KMC is to be contacted a minimum of three (3) working days prior to commencement of any works within the right-of-way or 30 m safety zone to arrange for a KMC inspector;

an on-site pre-construction meeting is to take place with a KMC inspector to discuss any on-site concerns, to accurately locate the Westridge Pipeline, to discuss construction techniques, and how to safely work around pipelines;

a copy of the approved crossing agreement and applicable drawings are to be on site at all times when working within the right-of-way or the 30 m safety zone; and

no manholes, valves, or meters are permitted within 1.5 m of the pipeline.
Items 1, 2, and 5 were repeated on the annotated design drawings; however, there was no mention of the other two items.

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The consultant completed the design drawings, numbered Revision 1 (Rev. 1), which showed the location of the proposed sewer line, the lateral connections, the DMs, and the Westridge Pipeline. The proposed sewer line was designed on the same grade as the existing combined storm/sanitary sewer line and would be located above and parallel to the Westridge Pipeline. Eighteen lateral connections and six DMs were to be constructed along this route connecting curb catch basins with the proposed sewer line, which did not cross the Westridge Pipeline. Only the proposed 18 lateral connections and 6 curb catch basin leads crossed it. The location of the Westridge Pipeline on the design drawings was based on information from various sources, one of which was the KMC as-built pipeline drawing indicating an 8.5 m offset of the centreline of the Westridge Pipeline from the east property line of Inlet Drive. The centreline of the proposed sewer line had an offset of 11.3 m from that property line, resulting in a constant 2.8 m centreline separation from the Westridge Pipeline, within the 3 m restrictive area around the pipeline. The crossing agreement did not reference the National Energy Board’s (NEB) regulatory requirements for the 3 m temporary restricted area around the pipeline, which prohibited all mechanical excavation until the pipeline had been clearly located by hand-digging or other methods.

In March, Burnaby awarded the construction contract for the installation of the sewer line under Inlet Drive. The crossing agreement formed part of the construction contract, but was unavailable at the time of tendering to be included at the contract tender package. It was, however, available for viewing at Burnaby City Hall.

The design drawings that were part of the construction contract had notes related to the three conditions mentioned above and also indicated the following:

the lateral connections were to cross the Westridge Pipeline with a minimum clearance of 0.3 m;

the sewer line was to parallel the Westridge Pipeline with a minimum clearance of 1.5 m; and

the required crossing permits from KMC were to be in place.
The design drawings specified that it was the responsibility of the construction contractor (the contractor) to arrange for the location of all underground utilities where they may cross or come into close proximity with the sewer line and to expose them. This responsibility was spelled out in greater detail in the construction contract between Burnaby and the contractor.

In April, a pre-construction meeting took place between the consultant, the contractor, and Burnaby. The agenda for the meeting covered a checklist of 27 items. KMC was not invited to the meeting. The investigation was unable to determine why not. After the contract award and before starting any excavation work, the contractor engaged the services of the consultant to survey and lay out the worksite on Inlet Drive, which was completed on July 11.

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On July 6, the contractor notified KMC that it intended to start construction on Inlet Drive in six days. The contractor subsequently delayed the construction start date to July 16. The consultant and its field representatives understood that KMC would determine when its inspectors would be on site, whether in regard to lateral crossings of the pipeline or when construction activities were proceeding parallel to the pipeline. The contractor was under the impression that KMC only wanted to be on site when the Westridge Pipeline was being crossed by the lateral connections but not necessarily when the sewer line was being constructed parallel to the pipeline or in the 30 m safety zone. This was, however, contrary to the crossing agreement.

Although a requirement of the crossing agreement, a copy was not available at the construction site. An on-site pre-construction meeting was required by the crossing agreement with a KMC inspector present to discuss any site concerns, to accurately locate the Westridge Pipeline, and to discuss construction techniques and how to safely work around the pipeline. However, KMC was not requested to attend by Burnaby, the consultant, or the contractor. Pipeline protection requirements were not discussed with the contractor by the consultant’s field supervisor or anyone else from the various parties.

Before the start of construction on July 16, the contractor noted a discrepancy between the location of the Westridge Pipeline as shown near DM 20 on the design drawing and its location on another construction drawing from previous work. The consultant was also made aware of this discrepancy. A KMC inspector was requested to locate the pipeline in the vicinity of DM 20 before the start of any excavation work. At this point, KMC became aware of the start of construction on Inlet Drive within both the 3 m restricted area and the 30 m safety zone around Westridge Pipeline. In spite of this fact, KMC did not request the required on-site pre-construction meeting.

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On July 16, at approximately 1415 Pacific daylight time,2 a KMC field inspector began to locate the Westridge Pipeline to the north of DM 20 using a radio-detection model RD 4000, hand-held pipeline locator. The location work indicated that the proposed sewer line would be crossing the Westridge Pipeline to the north of DM 20, instead of paralleling it as shown on the design drawing. Since Inlet Drive had to be re-opened to traffic in 45 minutes (at 1500), in the time available, the KMC inspector was only able to locate about 30 m of the pipeline between DM 20 and DM 21. Immediately to the south of DM 21, the pipeline location agreed with the offset location as noted on the design drawing.

The KMC inspector advised the contractor and the consultant that an application had to be filed for an amendment to the crossing agreement in the area north of Bayview Drive and that a design change was required before construction could continue at DM 20. There was no written or verbal request by the contractor to locate or mark other areas of the Westridge Pipeline along Inlet Drive and the KMC inspector did not offer to do any additional marking.

The contractor advised the KMC inspector and the consultant that no construction would be started to the north of DM 20 until all approvals had been received, but that construction would be started in the vicinity of DM 21 on July 17. All construction equipment was on site when the KMC inspector left for the day. The KMC inspector discussed with the KMC supervisor the need for an addendum to the crossing agreement at DM 20 but the contractor’s construction schedule was not addressed.

On July 17, KMC approved an addendum to the crossing agreement that allowed the proposed sewer line to cross over the Westridge Pipeline in the vicinity of DM 20 with a minimum clearance of 0.3 m. The approved addendum repeated all of the requirements of the original crossing agreement with Rev. 2 of the design drawings appended, showing the addition of another DM in the vicinity of DM 21. This new DM had been added to improve the horizontal alignment of the new storm sewer as it followed the roadway curve and resulted in a re-numbering of the DMs on the design drawings. There was no change to the locations of the original DMs.

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On the same day, the contractor began digging the sewer line trench immediately to the south of DM 21. The contractor planned to install the sewer line and DMs before crossing the Westridge Pipeline with the lateral connections. On July 20, the contractor called KMC to request a KMC inspector at the job site to locate the Westridge Pipeline on July 25 to allow it to install the revised DM 20 near the intersection of Bayview Drive and Inlet Drive. The contractor indicated that a KMC inspector would also be required to supervise crossings of the Westridge Pipeline so that the lateral connections and catch basins could be installed.

On July 18, the KMC field inspector visited the construction site but the contractor was not ready to begin any crossing work because the project had been delayed due to the change in the Bayview Drive area. The KMC field inspector determined that he was not required at this time and left.

From July 16 to July 24, inclusive, the consultant made daily site visits to ensure that construction activities were compliant with design drawings and specifications, to resolve any conflicts between design and construction, and to communicate job progress to Burnaby.

At 1231 on July 24, the Westridge Pipeline was struck while the contractor was excavating the sewer line trench in the vicinity of DM 25 as per design drawing Rev. 2. At the same time, the control centre operator (CCO) in Edmonton, Alberta, noted that the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system showed an increase in the flow rate of crude oil to an oil tanker being filled at KMC’s Westridge Dock Terminal (Westridge Dock) from 3160 to 3260 cubic metres per hour. This event was not recognized as the start of a crude oil release.

At 1233, the CCO received an emergency call from a private citizen indicating that an oil release had occurred and provided details related to location and the circumstances surrounding the event. At 1237, the CCO requested the Burnaby terminal operator (BTO), located at the Burnaby Terminal Tank Farm (Burnaby Terminal), to shut down the Westridge Pipeline. Within two minutes, the delivery booster pumps at the Burnaby Terminal were shut down. The Westridge Dock operator (WDO), at the request of the BTO, closed the delivery valves to the tanker, effectively stopping crude oil deliveries, assuming that the emergency was related to the tanker loading that was underway.

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Fifteen minutes after the rupture, the CCO noted that the SCADA system still indicated a flow rate on the Westridge Pipeline even though the delivery pumps at the Burnaby Terminal had been shut down and the delivery valves to the tanker had been closed. The CCO immediately requested that the BTO isolate the Westridge Pipeline from the Burnaby Terminal by closing the exit valves at this location. Immediately after isolating the pipeline from the Burnaby Terminal, the BTO asked the WDO to open the delivery valves to drain down the Westridge Pipeline into the tanker, in accordance with KMC’s emergency shut-down procedures.

At 1255, 24 minutes after the rupture, the Burnaby Terminal was fully isolated and the drain-down of the Westridge Pipeline had begun. Approximately one hour after the rupture, the drain-down of the Westridge Pipeline was completed. At 1507, the WDO re-closed the delivery valves to the tanker. The Westridge Pipeline was now isolated at both ends.

The damaged section of pipe was removed and a new section of pipe was installed. The pipeline was returned to service on July 27. The installation of the sewer line, the lateral connections, and the DMs were completed by Burnaby under the supervision of a KMC inspector. The contractor continued to work on other parts of the contract.

The damaged section of pipe was sent to the Acuren Group, Inc. (Acuren) laboratory in Richmond, British Columbia, for metallurgical analysis supervised by the TSB. Acuren determined that the pipeline had been in an acceptable operating condition before the incident and did not have any service-related degradation such as corrosion, thinning, or cracking, which would have predisposed it to failure. The damaged section of pipe contained an area of coating removal and, within this section, two large through-wall punctures and nine impact gouge marks, which caused denting and deformation of the pipe metal. Two of the nine impact gouges contained through-wall cracking of the pipe, which would have permitted a small volume of oil to be released from the pressurized pipeline into the trench before the two major punctures. Acuren also determined that the pipe damage features were consistent with the pipe being struck by the excavator bucket. Analysis of the nine impact gouge marks of punctures, dents, gouges, and scratches matched features of the No. 1 excavator tooth, indicating that the tooth struck the Westridge Pipeline five times before puncturing it twice. Metal flakes smeared on the hard surfacing of this tooth showed a chemical composition typical of the pipe metal. Similar evidence was not found on the other three excavator bucket teeth.

A post-occurrence site survey revealed that the offset location of the Westridge Pipeline varied from 4 m to 9.8 m from the east property line of Inlet Drive, instead of the constant 8.5 m offset that had been shown on the design drawings. The survey also showed that the sewer trench was excavated according to the design offset of 11.3 m. At the rupture site, the survey revealed that the Westridge Pipeline was only 1.5 m from the centreline of the sewer trench, instead of the 2.8 m separation that had been shown on the design drawings Rev. 1 and Rev. 2 (see Appendix C).

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National Energy Board Regulations

The National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I and the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II protect federally regulated pipelines, such as the Westridge Pipeline, from third-party damage associated with construction and excavation activities across, under, on, above, or parallel to the pipeline.

The National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I apply to anyone who will be excavating with power-operated equipment or explosives within the 30 m safety zone or who will be constructing or installing a facility, such as a sewer line, across, under, on, above, or parallel to a pipeline right-of-way. The NEB has also prepared a booklet entitled Excavation and Construction near Pipelines, which provides guidance to the public on whether approval must be obtained and where and how to obtain it. The National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I are appended to the booklet as well as contact information for all federally regulated pipeline companies. The National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II apply to all federally regulated pipeline companies.

The National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I provide the conditions that must be met so that excavation and construction activities within the 30 m safety zone can be conducted safely. These conditions include :

obtaining the company’s written permission prior to the start of any construction or excavation activities;

complying with all requirements detailed in the company’s written permission;

providing the pipeline company with three working days of notice before the start of any work;

confirming with the pipeline company that all its pipes in the area have been staked; and

not excavating mechanically within 3 m of a pipe unless the pipeline company has confirmed the location of the pipe by probing or the pipeline company has agreed that the excavation can come within 1 m of the pipe under the direct supervision of the company.

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The National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II outline the responsibilities of a pipeline company, such as KMC, to the public and the NEB regarding construction and excavation activities in the vicinity of its pipeline. These responsibilities include :

developing detailed public guidelines setting out technical and other information to be included in requests for permission to construct or excavate within the 30 m safety zone;

locating its pipes when requested to do so; and

conducting sufficient inspections to ensure the safety of the pipeline during the period of excavation.
The NEB is currently in the process of re-drafting the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I and National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II and consolidating them into one document entitled Damage Prevention Regulations.

KMC’s Design and Crossing Guidelines, approved by the NEB in 1989, provided the requirements for the application process and were followed by the consultant, on Burnaby’s behalf, during the drafting of the crossing agreement.

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Environmental Impact and Remediation

Crude oil from the punctured Westridge Pipeline sprayed about 12 to 15 m into the air for approximately 25 minutes. Fifty homes and properties as well as a section of the Barnet Highway were affected by the occurrence. The crude oil seeped into the surrounding soil, storm drains, and sewer lines. The Barnet Highway was closed for several days. Moving through the storm drain system, the crude oil eventually reached the marine waters of Burrard Inlet where it began to spread further into the inlet through wind and tide action. Burrard Inlet’s marine environment and approximately 1200 m of shoreline were affected by the crude oil spill. A number of shore birds were contaminated after coming into contact with the oil.

KMC established a unified command, with the British Columbia Ministry of Environment as the provincial member and the NEB as the federal member, to coordinate the response efforts utilizing an incident command system. The environmental clean-up was handled by KMC with regulatory overview from a stakeholder group. Some members of the stakeholder group were dispatched during the response and initial remediation efforts to address specific functions including waste management issues and shoreline clean-up and assessment. Other contractors and agencies worked on the clean-up and associated response activities for both land and water.

As of January 2009, the clean-up work on the public infrastructure was ongoing. The stakeholder group was still actively monitoring remediation work and not all remediation targets had been met. The contaminated soil surrounding the repaired Westridge Pipeline was removed and confirmatory samples were taken. The area was backfilled to grade and the road was restored throughout the area.

The stakeholder group was continuing to work with KMC in the development of final clean-up criteria specific to those areas affected by the release. In addition to the application of the most appropriate guideline (federal, provincial, or municipal), KMC conducted a literature review to identify levels of contaminants of concern that would be expected in Burrard Inlet before the release and to provide guidance for deriving clean-up targets.

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During the design stage, appropriate steps were taken to design the sewer line along Inlet Drive, taking into consideration the location of the Westridge Pipeline. Steps were also taken to comply with regulatory requirements before the commencement of the project by obtaining KMC’s written permission to construct the sewer line in the vicinity of its pipeline and by including KMC’s notes on the design drawings.

The location of the Westridge Pipeline on the consultant’s design drawings was based on information from various sources, which included KMC’s 1957 as-built information showing a constant offset of 8.5 m from the east property line of Inlet Drive. The design of the sewer line was based on this offset and was shown on the design drawings to have a constant offset along its length of 11.3 m from the east property line. Therefore, according to the design drawings, there should have been a constant 2.8 m between the centrelines of the Westridge Pipeline and the sewer line. This was within the 3 m restricted area on each side of the pipeline identified in the crossing regulations. As an additional safety factor, KMC’s crossing agreement required that the contractor maintain a minimum separation of 1.5 m between the trench and the edge of the Westridge Pipeline. While the crossing agreement stated that the depth and location of the pipeline had to be verified by hand-digging or Hydro-Vac in the presence of a KMC inspector, the agreement did not specifically state that there would be no mechanical excavation within the 3 m restricted area around the pipeline. KMC approved this project with 2.8 m between the centrelines of the Westridge Pipeline and the sewer line subject to the conditions in the crossing agreement.

Design drawings reflected the location of underground services and utilities, based on the best available as-built information, for design and contract-tendering purposes. It is good construction practice to field-locate all underground utilities and structures to verify their location immediately before the start of construction. This requirement was one of the conditions of the crossing agreement and is also outlined in the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I.

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Burnaby, the consultant, and the contractor were all aware of KMC’s requirement to verify the depth and location of the Westridge Pipeline three days before the start of construction. Because the sewer line would not be crossing the pipeline during the parallel trench work, the contractor was under the impression that this requirement only applied before trenching across the Westridge Pipeline for the proposed 18 lateral connections and 6 curb catch basin leads. The consultant and its field representatives believed that KMC would determine when its inspectors would be on site, whether in relation to lateral crossings of the pipeline or when construction activities were paralleling the pipeline.

KMC assumed that the contractor would specifically request an on-site pre-construction meeting, as per the terms of the crossing agreement, before continuing construction, that all safety requirements would be addressed during that meeting, and that the pipeline would be located at that time. Although the contractor did not request and KMC did not require an on-site pre-construction meeting at this time, the following verbal and visual cues occurred on July 16 indicating to KMC the intent of the contractor to continue with construction along Inlet Drive as soon as possible:

The contractor requested KMC to resolve the discrepancy in the location of the Westridge Pipeline in the vicinity of DM 20.

The contractor expressed its intent to the KMC inspector to begin work at DM 21 the following day.

Contractor personnel and appropriate construction equipment were on site.
On 16 July 2007, the contractor assumed that the KMC inspector would react to these cues and provide guidance, if needed, to ensure that all safety and regulatory requirements related to working around the Westridge Pipeline were properly addressed. The contractor was aware that no work could be done at DM 20 until certain conditions had been met and was prepared to meet those conditions before continuing construction at that location.

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However, because no guidance was provided by KMC on July 16 with respect to trenching between DM 21 and DM 25, the contractor assumed that it could begin working at DM 21 and continue trenching parallel to the Westridge Pipeline further up Inlet Drive towards DM 25 without further notifying KMC. The consultant assumed that KMC was aware of the contractor’s intentions and had given its approval to continue with the project.

Since the information available in the field was not adequately communicated between departments within KMC, there was no overall understanding or acceptance of the project work plan or construction schedule by KMC. Since the assumptions of KMC, the contractor, and the consultant were not adequately communicated between them, there was no common understanding or acceptance of the project work plan or the contractor’s construction schedule. As a consequence, the construction work proceeded without the conditions of the crossing agreement and the NEB crossing regulations being fully followed by the contractor, the consultant, or KMC.

On July 16, even though the consultant, the contractor, and KMC knew that the field location of the Westridge Pipeline at DM 20 did not agree with what was shown on the design drawings, none questioned whether there might be other sites along Inlet Drive where a discrepancy could exist between the design and the field locations of the pipeline. The contractor and the consultant believed that the design drawings accurately reflected the field location of the Westridge Pipeline. The contractor therefore continued trenching operations.

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Although KMC approved the project with 2.8 m of separation between the centrelines of the Westridge Pipeline and the sewer line, the NEB requirement that no mechanical excavations be conducted within 3 m of a pipeline, unless the location of the pipe was confirmed by the pipeline company, was not mentioned explicitly in the crossing agreement or in any of KMC’s notes that were affixed to the design drawings. Instead, the 3 m restriction was included indirectly in the KMC crossing agreement through the condition that required all construction to be in accordance with the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I. Mechanical excavation was allowed according to the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I, but KMC had an obligation to ensure that a KMC field inspector was directly supervising that excavation if the pipeline had not been located and marked.

Since the actual offset of the Westridge Pipeline at DM 25 was closer than anticipated to the design offset of the sewer line, there was an alignment conflict and the Westridge Pipeline was struck by the excavator bucket while the trench was being dug for the sewer line. This alignment conflict would have been discovered if the depth and location of the Westridge Pipeline had been verified before construction, as required by the terms of the crossing agreement and the applicable NEB crossing regulations.

The excavator bucket struck the pipe five times with sufficient force to result in impact gouge marks before the impacts that punctured the pipe wall. Any of the five impacts, with two of these impacts leaking oil, could have alerted the on-site supervisors that there was a problem and that an underground structure had been struck.

When the excavator bucket punctured the pipe, the delivery pumps were shut down and the pre-rupture delivery rate could no longer be sustained. However, because the Burnaby Terminal was located at a higher elevation than the rupture site, line fill in the Westridge Pipeline could still continue towards the rupture site due to gravity. Closing the Westridge Dock delivery valves only intensified the release of product at the occurrence site. Closing the pumps and not the exit valves at the Burnaby Terminal permitted crude oil to bypass the pumps and enter the pipeline. Drain-down of product away from the rupture site would have been possible if the valves to the tanker had remained open. The initial failure to drain down the Westridge Pipeline into the tanker was contrary to standard emergency shut-down procedures and resulted in additional oil being released on Inlet Drive.

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Findings as to Causes and Contributing Factors

The field location of the Westridge Pipeline was not accurately indicated on design drawings, which were based on a 1957 drawing, resulting in an alignment conflict with the trench of the proposed sewer line.

Since the location of the Westridge Pipeline was not verified along Inlet Drive, as required under the crossing agreement and the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I, the discrepancy between its location, as shown on the design drawings, and its actual field location was not discovered before the start of construction.

Due to the alignment conflict, the Westridge Pipeline was ruptured by the excavator bucket while the trench was being dug according to the approved design drawings.

Inadequate communication within Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. (KMC) and between KMC, the consultant, and the contractor resulted in no common understanding or acceptance of the project work plan and the contractor’s construction schedule.

The conditions of the crossing agreement and the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I and National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II respecting an on-site pre-construction meeting, locating the pipeline, and supervision of construction activities were not adhered to, thus compromising the safe operation of the pipeline.

The initial decision to stop deliveries to the tanker without isolating the gravity feed from the terminal instead of continuing with drain-down of the Westridge Dock Transfer Line to the tanker increased the volume of crude oil released and was not in conformity with standard emergency shut-down procedures.

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Safety Action Taken

The National Energy Board took the following actions in response to this occurrence:

Sessions were organized for all those who took part in the emergency response and the post-remediation monitoring and clean-up to discuss what worked and what did not, and to discuss enhancements to future emergency responses.

A multi-agency stakeholder group was established with the National Energy Board as lead agency to share information during site remediation work.

An audit of Kinder Morgan Canada Inc.’s (KMC) damage prevention program was scheduled to take place between February 2009 and March 2009.
This report concludes the Transportation Safety Board’s investigation into this occurrence. Consequently, the Board authorized the release of this report on 23 December 2008.

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Appendix A – Westridge Dock Transfer Line – Burnaby
Terminal to Westridge Dock Facilities

Transportation Safety Board releases report on Burnaby oil spill

The Transportation Safety Board released on Wednesday the final results of an investigation into the pipeline rupture that blackened a North Burnaby neighbourhood with crude oil in July 2007.

The investigation concluded that a lack of communication was one of the main factors that contributed to the break.

“We came to the conclusion that the lack of respect for on-site pre-construction procedures and inadequate communication compromised the safe operation of the pipeline,” said Larry Gales, the investigator in charge.

Almost 250,000 litres of oil spilled into Burrard Inlet and Burnaby Bay after contractors ruptured a Kinder Morgan pipeline.

According to the TSB, the pipe, which was 610 mm in diameter, was struck and punctured by a contractor’s excavator bucket during excavation of a trench for a new storm sewer line along Inlet Drive in Burnaby.

The report indicated that the pipeline was not accurately represented on the contractors’ design drawings, which were based on a 1957 drawing. The oversight is what caused the “discrepancy between its location [on the drawing] … and its actual field location.”

210,000 litres of oil were recovered after a massive clean-up along the coastline.

In addition to the environmental damage, crude oil also sprayed 11 houses and caused a large evacuation of the area, in which 250 residents were asked to leave their homes.

Among some of the safety measures taken since the accident, is the creation of a multi-agency group organized by the National Energy Board to share information during site clean-up.

Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said he agrees future accidents could be prevented with better communication procedures.

“I think that in all cases like this, communication is key,” he said. “I think that the report will reflect their recommendations on what should happen in communication and what did happen in this particular situation.”

An audit of Kinder Morgan’s damage-prevention program is also currently taking place.

Vancouver Fraser Port Authority and Coal Exports

BC Lung Association and other health leaders to PMV: delay coal export decisions until health risks thoroughly evaluated — work with Local Governments, Health Authorities to assess health impacts of six additional coal train trips per day through local communities

For Immediate Release

December 17 2012

Vancouver — An open letter (attached) from the BC Lung Association, the Public Health Association of BC, the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and individual health leaders was delivered today to Port Metro Vancouver, calling on it to delay decisions on two coal export expansion proposals until the cumulative health impacts of increased coal train traffic through Metro Vancouver communities can be properly evaluated.

The letter calls on the Port Authority to work with local governments, First Nations and regional health authorities to develop a transparent process for evaluating health impacts from increases in regional coal train traffic generated by these proposals.

Signatories note that they share concerns expressed in an earlier open letter to the Port Authority from climate scientists and others. “Why would we, in a province so rightfully proud of our clean energy, enable the delivery of these products that are globally toxic when used as intended?” said Dr Erica Frank, Canada Research Chair in Preventive Medicine and Population Health, UBC. “Not only are these coal exports a threat to the climate, we are concerned that they may be a threat to local health as well,” Frank said.

Plans currently before the Port Authority, if approved and built to capacity, would result in a minimum of 3 more return trips (6 one way trips) by coal trains through Metro Vancouver each day. This would be in addition to the 6 or more return coal train trips (12 one way) which currently pass through regional communities each day.

In the letter, health leaders point out that there are known health risks from exposure to diesel exhaust and coal dust and that approval of coal export plans would increase public exposure to both substances. No public agency is currently in a position to monitor or regulate cumulative increases in diesel exhaust from trains, and there are no regulations in Canada to control the release of coal dust from rail cars.

BNSF railway has stated that a coal train can lose over 100,000 kg of coal, much of it as dust, on its journey from mine to terminal. There should be a full accounting of the impact of these losses on public health prior to the approval of any coal export proposals.

There are more than 10 elementary and secondary schools, as well as a number of day care centres and seniors’ homes within 1 kilometre of the BNSF railway line which would serve the proposed Fraser Surrey Dock coal export terminal. On the north side of the Fraser River alone, there are more than 10 schools, a number of day care centres and a hospital within 1 kilometre of the CN line which would serve the proposed Neptune Terminals coal export expansion.

It is likely there will be continued pressure to increase coal exports out of Vancouver in the future:

Westshore Terminals has indicated that it could easily export an additional 20 million tonnes/year US coal, if it had the capacity;
Fraser Surrey Docks has indicated that it is seeking out other coal export customers in addition to BNSF;
if the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal near Bellingham Washington (projected to generate 18 return coal train trips per day) is not approved, there may be increased demand to export US coal through BC.

The potential for cumulative health impacts on local communities from increased exposure to diesel exhaust and coal dust should be thoroughly evaluated before the Port Authority approves any proposals for coal export expansion.

“If the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority truly aspires to be a good neighbour to Metro Vancouver communities, it should start by acknowledging that these coal export proposals have the potential to generate cumulative health impacts in areas outside their jurisdiction,” said Kevin Washbrook, Director with Voters Taking Action on Climate Change. “The Port Authority should put these decisions on hold, and work with regional communities and Health Authorities to assess the impacts and determine if these development proposals are in everyone’s best interests.”


1. For more information on the open letter: Kevin Washbrook, Director, Voters Taking Action on Climate Change 778-848-8278

2. For a summary of health concerns associated with exposure to diesel exhaust and coal dust, see the statement issued by the Whatcom Docs, a group of more than 200 Physicians in Whatcom County, Washington concerned about the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Export Terminal near Bellingham Washington: http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/whatcom-docs-position-statement-and-appendices.

Note that the statement is a summary of all health concerns — including those from occupational exposure to coal dust by miners.
Appendix B examines the issues related to coal dust exposure along railway lines in more detail: http://www.coaltrainfacts.org/docs/appendix-B.pdf

3. The BNSF statement about coal dust releases from coal trains has been removed from their web site. However, the web page has been archived by the Sightline Institute in Seattle and can be read here: http://daily.sightline.org/2011/08/10/at-least-the-website-is-clean/ BNSF currently will not make information on coal dust escapes from trains public. Eric de Place, Senior Researcher with the Sightline Institute, can provide more information on this issue. Contact: 206-447-1880 x105.

The archived BNSF web page indicates 500 lbs to one ton (2000 lbs) of coal can be lost from each rail car. At an average length of 125 cars, a train could lose up to 250,100 lbs/113,000 kgs of coal over the course of a journey. The impact of these losses on public health should be assessed prior to the approval of coal export proposals.

Alberta Federation of Labour: China’s Gas Tank Report

Alberta Federation o

China’s Gas Tank

Three Steps Toward Selling Out Canadian Energy Security

December 10, 2012

Chinese-Canadian business relations are being redefined, as we cede decision-making power about our natural resources to state-owned foreign businesses. These businesses are not bound by market pressures and will not act in the best interests of Canadians.

The economic relationship between Canada and China is being redefined.

Over the past year, three major events have dominated the headlines on Canadian business pages. These stories are each part of a larger picture in which Canada’s national interests are being subverted, and the country’s strategic energy assets are being taken over. From exploration and production to transportation and marketing, control of the oil sands is being ceded to state-owned foreign companies.

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) takeover of Nexen gives a Chinese state-owned oil company marketing control over several hundred thousand barrels per day of oil sands bitumen. Marketing control gives CNOOC power over the price – which means we are handing over control of Alberta’s most important source of royalty revenue to a state-owned enterprise.

At the behest of funding partners that are backed by Chinese state-owned oil companies, the Northern Gateway Pipeline locks in a future where Alberta’s resources leave the country in their rawest form possible. This will ship good paying jobs to China.

View/download the full report here



For Immediate Release – December 5, 2012


BURNABY, BC — BROKE objects to the Port of Vancouver, a Crown corporation, participating in Kinder Morgan’s promotional tour of the Lower Mainland. Kinder Morgan, a US based oil pipeline giant, is conducting a promotion tour in Alberta and British Columbia to sell a controversial plan to expand its shipments of diluted tar sands to Burarrd Inlet where it will be transported by tankers to China and other offshore locations.

Shipments of diluted tar sands would increase to 750,000 barrel a day. To ship tar sands by pipeline requires mixing it with a range of toxic chemicals, heating it and putting it under high pressure so that it becomes more fluid. Kinder Morgan cannot guarantee that leaks and spills of oil from pipelines, sub-stations and and oil tank will not happen and have reported almost one accident per year over the past 10 years with evacuations in Burnaby in 2007 and again in 2009 and also in Sumas in 2012. Transport Canada found in an investigation of the Sumas spill that Kinder Morgan did not adequately respond to the spill and that compounded the problem.

The Port of Vancouver contributed to Kinder Morgan’s promotional tour of the controversial oil pipeline and oil tank farm expansion on October 24, 2012 at Stoney Creek Community School in Burnaby. Personnel with the Port reportedly answered questions about the plan to build a new crude oil pipeline and denied the need to dredge Second Narrows to make way for super sized oil tankers. A Port of Vancouver spokesperson is reported to have assured concerned visitors that no dredging would occur and that there was no greater danger of oil tankers passing through the narrows despite the need for more frequent shipments.

According to Elsie Dean of BROKE, “The Port of Vancouver’s participation in Kinder Morgan’s public relations work to sell their plan to build a new bigger pipeline to ship diluted bitumen gives the appearance of a serious conflict of interest. The Port of Vancouver is a Crown Corporation and is supposed to be an independent body. The Port should not be participating in Kinder Morgan’s, or any other, private promotional event. The participation of the Port gives, at the very least, the appearance of a serious conflict of interest. We demand the Port cease promoting Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion. It is incumbent on the Port Authority to maintain an independent position as a Crown corporation.”

Karl Perrin, also of BROKE, said that: “If the participation of the Port of Vancouver in Kinder Morgan’s promotional tour is not a direct conflict of interest, then it represents at the very least an apparent conflict of interest. The Port should cease all participation as it clearly undermines trust in a public institutions.”
Karl noted, “The Port of Vancouver, which oversees and regulates Kinder Morgan activities, should not be using its resources to promote, or be seen to support, Kinder Morgan’s pipeline proposal or any private interest.”

—————- 30 ————–

For more information, please contact:

Elsie Dean – (604) 294-5834 E-mail: ewdean@telus.net

Karl Perrin – (604) E-mail: perrink@shaw.ca

Burnaby Resident Opposing KinderMorgan’s Expansion
E-mail: info.brokepipelinewatch.ca
Twitter @NoPipelines

Oil spill possibility is worrisome

Dear Editor:

Three words, beautiful British Columbia, are written on every license plate in the Province. This description is a testament to the extensive natural beauty that can be found in every corner of British Columbia.

I believe that the government should do everything in its power to protect this diverse environment, and that means not allowing the Northern Gateway pipeline to be constructed.

I believe that a pipeline would be a huge risk to the North Coast and northern interior of the province, and I would like the B.C. government to oppose it, because the pipe line would travel over more than 1,000 streams and rivers, some of which are salmon-bearing.

Salmon fishing has provided me with some amazing experiences in B.C., and the impact of an oil spill in such a delicate ecosystem would be absolutely detrimental for the health of not only salmon populations, but all species in the area.

I think Enbridge is also a bad choice for B.C., and with almost 610 recorded spills between 1999 and 2008, it would just be a matter of time before Northern Gateway would leak some oil into the environment.

I have been to Alaska and seen the pelts of dead sea otters, dead birds and seals affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Even when I went in 2009, oil was still an issue in the area, and it is estimated to take up to 30 years to fully clean the spill.

As a resident of this province, I fear the potential impact of a large scale oil spill that the pipeline could potentially cause.

I do not want to see some of the valuable wildlife such as whales, birds and fish that make British Columbia beautiful affected in a negative way by an oil spill.

Henry McKenzie, Cariboo Hill Secondary student

© Copyright (c) Burnaby Now

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Burnaby residents want port out of pipeline info sessions

Burnaby resident, Ray Cain looking over information at the Kinder Morgan public info session at Stoney Creek Community School on Nov. 24. A local citizens’ group opposing the company’s pipeline expansion plan does not want Port Metro Vancouver to participate in the public information sessions, raising conflict of interest concerns.
Photograph by: Jason Lang , BURNABY NOW

Burnaby residents opposed to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion plan are upset that Port Metro Vancouver was participating in the company’s public information session at Stoney Creek Community School recently.

“The Port of Vancouver’s participation in Kinder Morgan’s public relations work to sell their plan to build a new, bigger pipeline to ship diluted bitumen gives the appearance of a serious conflict of interest,” said local resident Elsie Dean, a founding member of BROKE – Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan’s Expansion. The citizens’ group, which includes people whose homes were sprayed with crude in the 2007 pipeline rupture, is against Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion to nearly triple oil shipping capacity by twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline. The line runs through Burnaby and has been in place since the 1950s. The expansion will greatly increase tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet, and it’s Port Metro Vancouver’s responsibility to ensure that the tankers are safely escorted in local waters.

Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart also got involved and penned a letter to Port Metro Vancouver, respectfully requesting the port “immediately cease its promotion of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion.”

“Although personnel from the Port Metro Vancouver purport to be at the meeting to provide information to local residents on the issue of the proposed Kinder Morgan expansion, their presence suggests a tacit endorsement of the Trans Mountain expansion proposal,” he wrote. “Furthermore, it will be noted that Kinder Morgan’s presentation to investors, dated 24 March 2011, includes that the port is ‘supportive of expansion.'”

Yoss Leclerc, harbour master for Port Metro Vancouver, told the NOW that the port is there to provide information.

“We are there to supervise the education of the public. We go to all the open houses, we provide information on the port’s operation, on safety, and educate people,” he said, adding there are times where the port teams up with other organizations during public information events.

When asked what the port’s position on the expansion was, Leclerc said they are waiting for a chance to review the Kinder Morgan’s application, which they will get a copy of once it passes through the National Energy Board process. Before Kinder Morgan can proceed with twinning the pipeline, the company has to submit a project application to the National Energy Board for review and approval, which they are planning to do in late 2013.

“There is a process that’s ongoing now with the National Energy Board, and we need to have their approval, and we’re going to have the project application, and we’re going to have to review the project,” Leclerc said.

Port Metro Vancouver’s role is to oversee safety, security and environmental protection along 600 kilometeres of coastline, including the Burrard Inlet and the Fraser River. Leclerc said the port will continue attending Kinder Morgan’s public information sessions if they have the time and resources.

© Copyright (c) Burnaby Now

Original source article: Burnaby residents want port out of pipeline info sessions

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