Kinder Morgan has revealed possible routing options for the pipeline expansion plan through Burnaby, and the company is trying to avoid residential neighbourhoods and private property.
Kinder Morgan is proposing to run the twinned oil pipeline from North Road, on the Coquitlam border, along Lougheed Highway to Underhill Avenue, where it will take a right, past a gasoline distribution station that sells Esso products. From there, it’s a short stretch to the Kinder Morgan storage terminal, or tank farm, on Burnaby Mountain. The corridor route then heads from the north-west corner of the tank farm and then west along Burnaby Mountain Parkway, down a short stretch of Hastings Street, before turning right and running north close to Cliff Avenue and the Burrard Inlet Conservation Area, before connecting to the Westridge Marine Terminal, the dock where tankers fill up with crude.
The “study corridor,” as Kinder Morgan calls it, is not the exact location of the pipeline; it’s a wide berth the company is examining and submitting as part of its facilities application to the National Energy Board later this year. The exact route of the line will be somewhere within the study corridor.
There is an alternate proposed route, in case there are problems with the first option (see map above for details). Kinder Morgan’s existing Trans Mountain pipeline runs oil from Alberta to the West Coast and has been in place since the early 1950s.
The company wants to twin the existing line, bringing capacity from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 890,000. For most of the 1,150-kilometre line, the company is sticking to its existing right-of-way for the expansion, but because development in Burnaby has increased over the decades, Kinder Morgan is proposing these new routes that mostly stick to main roads, railway tracks and trails.
Kinder Morgan spokesperson Mike Davis explained that the company is not in the business of expropriation.
“The pipeline today doesn’t go under any houses or anything like that. It’s in a dedicated right-of-way or in a street. The term expropriation, in its strictest definition, is power that municipalities have to take property. We don’t have that power as a pipeline operator,” Davis said.
However, Davis added, if the National Energy Board approves the project, Kinder Morgan could be granted “right of entry” to access property, meaning the company could get approval to build the pipeline on someone’s property without taking ownership.
“It starts out with our application, providing this study corridor, and that gets refined down to an actual route,” Davis said.
If there are issues on the route that can’t be resolved, then there are two processes afterward to try and come to a compromise, and if those fail, then the company may be granted right of access.
When asked if Kinder Morgan may need to access people’s property in Burnaby, Davis said they would try not to.
“We will do everything we can to avoid it,” he said. “I can’t say with any certainty we won’t come to that in some small examples. . I can’t say for sure we won’t come to that, but we will do everything we can. We have to live with these landowners for another 60 years. We don’t want to end up in an adversarial situation, so we will do everything we can to resolve that. But it is a large project. It’s a federally regulated project, because it’s in the national interest, and we ultimately have to find a balance.
“There are parts of the route that are going through streets, so it would be naïve to say we’re not affecting residential property, but it’s not actually on the property,” he added.
Kinder Morgan is collecting public feedback on the routing options. Go to talk.transmountain.com/ burnaby#tool for maps, more information and feedback opportunities.
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