Protect Burnaby Mountain

Kinder Morgan on collision course

Kinder Morgan has begun surveying conservation and parkland on Burnaby Mountain. The giant US oil pipeline company plans to clear parkland and build a helicopter pad in preparation for boring a tunnel through the Northridge of Burnaby Mountain contrary to city bylaws.

The purpose of the tunnel will be to transport crude tar sands oil from the storage tanks at Forest Hill to Westridge Terminal. Many geologists and seismologists are concerned that the Northridge will be subject to extreme shaking in the event of even a moderate earthquake putting at risk the pipeline, the huge oil storage tanks at Forest Hill and the Aframax tankers at Westridge terminal. A moderate earthquake to the huge tanks, pipeline and terminal would make the 2007 pipeline spill at Westridge minor in comparison.

To help protect conservation and parkland and to support the enforcement of city bylaws, residents of BC will meet on Burnaby Mountain overlooking the proposed helicopter pad. The convergence of people will take place on September 13 at 2:00 PM.

The convergence of people is a celebration of conservation and parkland with music and speakers. The City of Burnaby will issue a stop work order as soon as Kinder Morgan crews begin clearing land or disturbing wildlife, but people must rally to show support to protect Burnaby Mountain and the entire Burrard Inlet. People have power only if they work together.

Music by:

Invited speakers include :

Mayor Derek Corrigan (TBC)
Stewart Philip, UBCIC (TBC)
Rueben George, Sacred Trust (TBC)

Kinder Morgan, the NEB and our rights

Residents of Burnaby and the Lower Mainland are opposed to Kinder Morgan’s (KM) proposed pipeline expansion project, from the Alberta tar sands to Burnaby, which would pose significant health and environmental risks to our community while bringing very few benefits by way of jobs or revenue.

This past week, KM began performing surveys in parkland adjacent to Burnaby Mountain, in preparation for geotechnical testing related to the possibility of boring a tunnel through the western section of mountain for their proposed tar sands pipeline. KM also intends to build a helicopter landing pad on the mountain.

The City of Burnaby opposes the pipeline project and has denied the company a permit for the work. In response, KM submitted a request to the National Energy Board (NEB) to confirm their rights to access City of Burnaby public lands. The NEB ruled that federal legislation gives Kinder Morgan the power to enter and conduct surveys and tests on any Crown or private land that lies on their intended pipeline routes. The City has filed a constitutional challenge, saying the route would go against municipal bylaws.

The NEB dismissed the challenge, but did not, however, grant an access order to KM, which officials with the City of Burnaby are interpreting as leaving them able to continue to enforce their bylaws.

“In their response, the National Energy Board did not deny our assertion. Instead, they merely offered an interpretation of Section 73a of the National Energy Board Act. We will, therefore, continue to enforce our bylaws, ensuring that Kinder Morgan does not access Burnaby parkland and the Brunette Conservation area on which they want to perform deleterious actions that would contravene the laws put in place by our City and citizens to protect our parkland,” Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan said.

“The NEB refused to address the City of Burnaby’s constitutional question,” said Burnaby’s legal counsel, Greg McDade, QC. “By refusing to grant an access order, they ignored the question completely, meaning that Kinder Morgan still cannot access Burnaby’s land without the City’s permission.”

The NEB Act does not empower the Board to make orders that override municipal jurisdiction or bylaws. Local citizens are now mobilizing to express our opposition to allowing KM access to our public lands in preparation for building their proposed pipeline expansion.

The answer is “NO”. Please join us! Burnaby Mountain, September 13 at 2:00 PM

Kinder Morgan and city on collision course

“What they need is a clear line, a path about a metre wide to be able to lay that line out so that they can set geophones down and set a charge and then do the readings,” Trans Mountain project lead Carey Johannesson told the NOW.

Johannesson was at Eastlake Park Wednesday for a media event and the launch of lower impact environmental surveys along Stoney Creek.

The city opposes the pipeline project and has denied the company an encroachment permit for the work, but the National Energy Board (NEB) ruled last week that federal legislation gives pipeline companies like Kinder Morgan the power to enter and conduct surveys and tests on any Crown or private land [Emphasis added] that lies on their intended pipeline routes.

According to Johannesson, that means his company has the green light to conduct all the studies it needs to seek NEB approval for its proposed expansion, which would see a section of the pipeline run through the western corner of Burnaby Mountain.

“If Burnaby wants to pursue that and take it further, I’m assuming that what they’ll need to do is do a stop-work order, and then we’ll have to take it from there,” Johannesson said.

The city intends to do just that, according to Mayor Derek Corrigan, but only once the company starts breaking city bylaws.

“It’s not them walking through the park,” Corrigan said. “Everyone’s allowed to walk through the park. It’s if they start cutting down trees, if they start interfering with wildlife, if they start clearing areas for helicopter landing pads, if they start doing those things, the city will be engaged.”

Corrigan argued the NEB’s ruling may have given Kinder Morgan access to the land for low-impact studies, but it did not overrule the city’s power to enforce its bylaws.

As such, Corrigan said city staff will be at the mountain in the coming days making sure no bylaws are broken.

“If there is any infractions of our bylaws, then staff will be issuing an order to stop,” he said. “We’re going to be enforcing the bylaws until the national energy board says they want to overrule our bylaws, and if they say that, then we are in the courts.”

Johannesson said Kinder Morgan would stop its geotechnical studies if the city issued a stop-work order, but the company wouldn’t be headed back to the National Energy Board.

“The board’s already been very clear in their ruling that we have the ability to be able to go on any land, including Burnaby’s land, to be able to do the surveys we need to do to be able to get the information the board requires. I mean, that’s pretty clear,” he said.

Johannesson said the company would likely look to the courts instead to get authorization to continue work on the project.

© Burnaby Now

Breaking News: Today Kinder Morgan announced plans to enter conservation lands

From a Trans Mountain (Kinder Morgan) information release today, August 27, 2014

“As part of its feasibility investigations, Trans Mountain’s contractor plans to drill six 6-inch geotechnical boreholes in the Burnaby Mountain area. While four of these boreholes are on private property, two are planned within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area. In addition, the contractor will also complete geophysical surveys using both seismic refraction and electro-resistivity tomography.

A 10m by 20m cleared area is required to complete safe drilling operations. Vegetation disturbance will be minimized. This work will include a heli-staging area and additional support vehicles. A 20m by 8m staging area is planned west of Centennial Way. On completion of drilling, Trans Mountain will restore the site to as close to their original condition as practical.

To minimize the period of drilling within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area, drilling is planned for 24 hours per day in two 12 hour shifts during the investigation. Previous tests indicate that noise levels generated by this work are not anticipated to exceed Burnaby City bylaw limits. During this work we will ensure public safety.

Geophysical surveys are also proposed. These are non-intrusive survey using electro-resistivity tomography and seismic refraction. These may include an intermittent sharp banging sound and laying temporary cables along the ground surface. This work will try to avoid brushing, although minimal vegetation removal may be required where dense vegetation is encountered.”

Burnaby seeks ‘emergency’ pipeline motion

Burnaby City Hall wants to file an emergency motion with the Union of B.C. Municipalities to put a stop to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Coun. Paul McDonell said on Monday the city cannot fight the pipeline expansion alone, and needs support from other municipalities to create a symbolic wall.

“We’re trying to block it because there’s not really a lot of benefit — any benefit — to us in the city,” he said.

“Four-hundred-twenty tankers per year will be coming here, it’s about seven times what we got coming in right now.”

In the proposed emergency resolution, the city argues that the National Energy Board review process is “unbalanced, unfair and biased” in favour of Kinder Morgan’s interests.

“The process approved thus far by the NEB has not provided for a true public hearing that would allow for both oral hearings and cross-examination of evidence for the (pipeline project),” the city argued.

McDonell said he’s hoping for backing from the provincial government as well. The province last month said it wasn’t getting proper responses from Kinder Morgan when information was requested.

McDonell said that’s Burnaby’s position as well — the city filed 1,500 information requests, he said, but “very few” of those were answered.

City of Burnaby continuing bylaw enforcement prohibiting Kinder Morgan testing access

The City of Burnaby will prohibit Kinder Morgan from accessing Burnaby Mountain to perform tests related to a proposed pipeline, despite a National Energy Board (NEB) ruling the company does not need to seek permission.

Kinder Morgan submitted a request to the NEB to confirm its rights to its access to three kilometers of City of Burnaby lands for surveying and examination, and the City of Burnaby has mounted a constitutional challenge saying the route would go against municipal bylaws.

The board dismissed this challenge, but did not grant an access order to Kinder Morgan, which officials with the City of Burnaby are interpreting as leaving them able to continue to enforce their bylaws.

“In their response, the National Energy Board did not deny our assertion. Instead, they merely offered an interpretation of Section 73a of the National Energy Board Act. We will, therefore, continue to enforce our bylaws, ensuring that Kinder Morgan does not access Burnaby parkland and the Brunette Conservation area on which they want to perform deleterious actions that would contravene the laws put in place by our City and citizens to protect our parkland,” Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan said.

NEB communications officer Sarah Kiley said that Kinder Morgan does not require an order to access the lands and has not filed for one.

by JOC DIGITAL MEDIA Aug 22, 2014

City of Burnaby enforcing bylaws that prohibit Kinder Morgan’s access to Burnaby mountain

Burnaby Mayor Derrick Corrigan’s office said today that Burnaby will continue to enforce bylaws prohibiting Texas-based Kinder Morgan company from access to Burnaby mountain.

In July 25, 2014, Kinder Morgan asked the National Energy Board (NEB) to clarify its rights with respect to accessing and impacting protected, environmentally sensitive City of Burnaby parkland.

On August 5 and 6, the City of Burnaby responded to Kinder Morgan’s request with a Notice of Constitutional Question, noting that:

The land Kinder Morgan wants to access for testing includes parkland on which the drilling of bore holes and construction of a helicopter staging area would be contrary to applicable by-laws, and the provincial laws under which they were enacted.

The NEB Act does not empower the Board to make orders that override municipal jurisdiction or bylaws.

Today, in a response, Mayor Corrigan’s office said that the National Energy Board offered an interpretation of the applicable section of the Act, but failed to grant Kinder Morgan an access order, leaving Burnaby able to continue to enforce its bylaws.

“We launched our Constitutional challenge,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan. “because we absolutely believe that our bylaws trump the Act in this case. We continue to believe this to be true and nothing the Board said today changes that fact.

“In their response, the National Energy Board did not deny our assertion. Instead, they merely offered an interpretation of Section 73a of the National Energy Board Act. We will, therefore, continue to enforce our bylaws, ensuring that Kinder Morgan does not access Burnaby parkland and the Brunette Conservation area on which they want to perform deleterious actions that would contravene the laws put in place by our City and citizens to protect our parkland.”

“The NEB refused to address the City of Burnaby’s constitutional question,” said Burnaby’s legal counsel, Greg McDade, QC. “By refusing to grant an access order, they ignored the question completely, meaning that Kinder Morgan still cannot access Burnaby’s land without the City’s permission.”

NEB Allows Kinder Morgan Access to protected Conservation Lands on Burnaby Mountain

The National Energy Board has sided with Kinder Morgan in a dispute with the City of Burnaby over access to Burnaby Mountain.

The company can proceed with necessary studies of its preferred pipeline route through the mountain without the city’s consent.

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In a decision released Tuesday, the National Energy Board confirmed that under federal legislation the company doesn’t need permission to access the land that is home to Simon Fraser University and a vast nature preserve.

“It would not be logical that the Board be required to recommend approval or denial of a project without all necessary information before it,” the board said in a decision posted online. “This would not be in the public interest.”

Read the full NEB ruling on the Kinder Morgan – Burnaby dispute
Kinder Morgan wants Burnaby’s blessing to begin surveying, even though it says it doesn’t need it now. It’s expecting an application made to the municipality to be approved in light of the NEB ruling.

Project leader Carey Johannesson told the CBC he thinks the ruling is pretty clear.

“[The ruling] doesn’t mean that we’re not going to be trying to work with Burnaby, but it does just clarify things for us,” said Johannesson.

“We could essentially start anytime we want to…Our expectation is that with some of the things that are easier to do we could probably get started this week.”

Burnaby mayor vows to fight on

However, Burnaby’s mayor’s office issued a statement vowing to block the company’s access to parkland and conservation areas.

“We launched our Constitutional challenge because we absolutely believe that our bylaws trump the act in this case. We continue to believe this to be true and nothing the board said today changes that fact.” said Mayor Derek Corrigan in the statement.

“We will, therefore, continue to enforce our bylaws, ensuring that Kinder Morgan does not access Burnaby parkland and the Brunette Conservation area on which they want to perform deleterious actions that would contravene the laws put in place by our City and citizens to protect our parkland.”

The city’s legal council Greg McDade told the CBC, “The situation as it stands is that the company has permission in effect from the NEB, under its legislation, to access the site. But it doesn’t have permission to overrule Burnaby’s by-laws and Burnaby’s by-laws may prohibit some of the activities they were intending to do.”

Preferred Trans Mountain pipeline route

Kinder Morgan would prefer to bore its pipeline through the mountain, rather than follow the current pipeline route through
residential and business areas.

The federal National Energy Board Act stipulates that a company may enter into the land of any person that lies on the intended route to survey or otherwise ascertain whether the land is suitable, the board found.

The company does not require an order from the national regulator for temporary access, it said.

“There is no requirement … for companies to reach agreement with landowners, the Crown, or otherwise, before exercising the right to access land,” the board said.

It does note that the company could have made a formal request to the city sooner than it did.

“Throughout its submissions … Burnaby mischaracterizes the nature of Trans Mountains’ request,” the board found.

Pipeline report delayed by Burnaby dispute

The dispute has already caused a seven-month delay in the regulatory process.

The board panel will not have its final report to cabinet until Jan. 25, 2016. Under the original schedule, the report was due July 2, 2015.

Canoeists paddle canoes past the Kinder Morgan facility in Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, on May, 22, 2014. There are concerns about the safety of oil storage if Kinder Morgan receives approval to triple the capacity of its pipeline. (Jonathan Hayward/ Canadian Press)

The $5.4-billion expansion project would almost triple the current capacity, from 300,000 barrels of oil a day to almost
900,000. The City of Burnaby opposes the expansion.

In documents filed to the board, the city said “the ‘engagement’ that Trans Mountain is requesting appears in some cases to constitute support or pre-approval by Burnaby.”

In other cases it’s akin to city staff helping the company to meet its obligations to the National Energy Board, it said.

Johannesson said the company tried for more than a year to come to some agreement with the Metro Vancouver city. Initial studies can begin within days, he said.

“For us, it gives us the ability to be able to do the survey work — the engineering, environmental and archaeological survey work— that we need to be able to do to satisfy the NEB,” said Johannesson.

“The first thing we need to do is see whether that’s technically feasible.”

Johannesson was circumspect about the dispute.

“We respect that they’ve got a perspective and a position,” he said. “We’re still going to be reaching out and trying to work with them.”

With files from the CBC’s Chad Pawson.
© The Canadian Press, 2014

Climate Change: Kinder Morgan pipeline assessment challenged in court

City of Vancouver wants judicial review on whether climate change should be included in project assessment

The city of Vancouver says it will go to the Federal Court of Appeal on Friday over Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline.

The city want a judicial review of whether the National Energy Board should consider climate change in its assessment of the project.

Vancouver officials have already asked the board, which said it could not take the global issue into account.

The city says it’s not right that the board will consider the broader economic benefits of the pipeline expansion but won’t take into account the broader environmental effects.

Kinder Morgan pipeline study allowed on Burnaby Mountain, rules NEB
Kinder Morgan pipeline questions raised by B.C.
The $5.4-billion expansion project would almost triple the capacity of the current pipeline, from 300,000 barrels of oil a day to almost 900,000 from Alberta to Port Metro Vancouver.

The city of Burnaby is also opposed to the proposal and is embroiled in its own dispute with Kinder Morgan over access to city land.

Burnaby, B.C. residents who live near the end point of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion march in April in opposition to the proposed expansion. (CBC)

In a decision released Tuesday, the National Energy Board confirmed that under federal legislation the company doesn’t need the City of Burnaby’s permission to begin surveying the land.

However, Burnaby has vowed to block the company’s access to parkland and conservation areas with a constitutional challenge.

Kinder Morgan says it would prefer to bore its pipeline through the mountain, rather than follow the current pipeline route through residential and business areas.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

Related
Kinder Morgan pipeline study allowed on Burnaby Mountain, rules NEB
Kinder Morgan pipeline could run under Burnaby Mountain
Kinder Morgan pipeline questions raised by B.C.
Kinder Morgan oil storage plan for Burnaby criticized
Kinder Morgan hearings scheduled for Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion