How oil companies plan to kill you (yes, you)

By Nadine Moedt (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: September 12, 2012

How will two oil companies (Kinder Morgan and Enbridge) try to kill thee? Let me count the ways. Having spoken to two representatives from PIPE UP, Sheila Muxlow and Michael Hale, I am thoroughly scared shitless and wish to list the reasons why continuing to allow tar sands oil through BC is a terrible and downright irresponsible idea.

First off, the product that these companies are shifting to—tar sands diluted bitumen rather than conventional oil—puts everyone at risk. Because tar sands bitumen is in its natural state is solid, it must be diluted by a variety of toxic chemicals to be moved through the pipeline. In order to be transported it must be submitted to pressure and heat, which increases the risk of spillage. The chemicals used include benzene, a chemical that has been linked to blood cancer. If there is a spill, these chemicals would evaporate into the air for us to breathe in.

To make things worse, tar sands diluted bitumen is nearly impossible to clean up in the event of a spill. That’s because tar sands bitumen is solid, so once it cools in the event of a spill, naturally it sinks. Sheila Muxlow, a spokesperson for PIPE UP, points to the Kalamazoo Michigan spill in 2010 as an example of what might be in store for us. After two years of attempting to clean up that spill using conventional methods, such as skimming oil off the water, they still have not been able to rid the water of this poisonous substance. No amount of money thrown at this issue will clean up an oil spill if we simply do not have the method to do so.

Many people are not aware that we are already allowing tar sands oil through BC. Considering all the attention given to Enbridge’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, I was shocked to learn that Kinder Morgan’s Trans mountain pipeline runs right through the Fraser Valley and is now carrying tar sands diluted bitumen. What makes things worse is that this is a pipeline built in the early ‘50s for the transport of conventional oil and natural gas; it was not built to accommodate the heat and pressure tar sands diluted bitumen requires. Now, Kinder Morgan is proposing an expansion: another pipeline running parallel to the first, right through our backyard.

And if this doesn’t sound bad enough, both Kinder Morgan and Enbridge are setting up this pipeline solely for export. At the moment we have something like 71 to 80 tankers a year in the Burrard Inlet. If these proposals go through, god forbid, this number would go up to 365 tankers a year. The tankers would not be the relatively small ones we have now, but large crude carriers, ranging up to 400 meters in length. Muxlow mentioned there has been talk about the need to “dredge the inlet” in order to make sure these beasts can make it through the inlet. This dredging would have a horrible ecological impact, stirring up any pollution resting at the bottom from the tankers we already have coming through and disturbing any present marine life.

So what are the benefits? Surely by prostituting our environment for the sake of Ottawa and these big oil companies we get some compensation. Right? Michael Hale has done the research and our gains, he says, are a “pittance.” Here are the facts he has summarized, taken directly from the report on the economic benefits of Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline by Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA). To start, over $10 billion would be spent (Enbridge has estimated a $5.5 billion dollar project and Kinder Morgan, $4.5 billion). There would be “spin off,” i.e., people get work. Yet economic benefits would result for any new project and the fact is that building pipelines is “capital intensive” and results in “relatively less employment” than if that money was spent on other projects. It makes sense. Manufacturing the actual pipes can be done in factories, and the digging/laying down/raping of the environment would not result in full time employment for many workers. The cost of carbon emissions, the cost of potential spills, and other environmental risks is glossed over by Enbridge. CCPA states that “while private gains accrue to the oil and gas industry, huge costs are borne by others.” Others being you, your children and your children’s … But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We probably won’t make it that far if this pipeline goes through.

Here are some other economical facts Hale lists. For local residents: the price of gas would go up, drinking water from the aquifer would be at risk, and local manufacturing would be negatively impacted as the export of raw material contributes to inflation.

We need to explore our options before we allow these oil companies to put all of us at risk. At this point, it is absolutely critical to be thinking about building infrastructure that promotes a more green way of life. We need to focus on alternative energy sources. To build a pipeline that would speed up extraction of the tar sands oil and reinforce our dependency establish on fossil fuels would be completely irresponsible and—let’s be honest—just plain stupid.

http://ufvcascade.ca/2012/09/17/how-oil-companies-plan-to-kill-you-yes-you/

Community speaks out against existing pipeline

By Nadine Moedt (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: September 12, 2012

While most environmentally- concerned British Columbians are focused on the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, many are unaware that an existing pipeline is already carrying diluted tar sands bitumen right through our backyard.

The Trans-Mountain pipeline was built in the early ‘50s, and was intended to transport conventional oil for local use. However in 2005, Kinder Morgan (an American energy company) purchased the line and has instead been using the pipeline for transporting tar sands bitumen to the coast for export.

Now, Kinder Morgan has submitted a new proposal hoping to put in another pipeline parallel to the first.

Sheila Muxlow is a member of a group of concerned local residents known as PIPE UP (pro-information, pro-environment united people). The goal of PIPE UP, Muxlow says, is education and awareness about “the risks associated with transporting tar sands diluted bitumen.”

Public knowledge of the pipeline and its proposed twin line is limited, especially in comparison to public awareness of the Northern Gateway proposal.

“We don’t have stringent regulations when it comes to moving tar sands,” Muxlow said, explaining how Kinder Morgan was able to switch product without informing the public of the change. “Overall [the lack of awareness] has to do with the lack of regulations that exist for big companies to have to be transparent with the public when they are using old infrastructure to transport new product, regardless of how increased the toxicity is or the increased risk of spills.”

Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion would mean a brand new pipeline from Edmonton to the coast. It would cross the Lower Mainland close to schools, residential areas, farmland, watersheds and drinking water sources.

PIPE UP’s major concern is that tar sand diluted bitumen is much more at risk of spillage than conventional oil.

“On a local level, the fact that tar sands diluted bitumen is more subject to spills is an issue because it is a more corrosive product,” Muxlow explained. “Tar sands at room temperature are solid, so to move it through a pipeline they have to dilute it with a cocktail of different solvents including benzene and other polyaromatic hydrocarbons. Then even so, when they get it to a state where it is fluid, they’ll have to pump it at higher temperatures, and at higher pressure to get it through the pipeline.”

This is an issue of concern even in brand new pipes, Muxlow said, let alone in a pipeline built in the early ‘50s. The Keystone pipeline, running from Alberta to Nebraska was built in 2010 and was designed specifically for transport of tar sand diluted bitumen. In its first year alone there were 12 instances of spillage.

An oil spill in the Fraser Valley would not only have a huge impact environmentally, Muxlow stated, but would be a significant hazard to human health.

“There is the issue with increased health risks for residents, with the chemical cocktail of dilutants they add to tar sands to move it through the pipes,” she said. “When it’s spilled, it evaporates into the air quite quickly. When it does that, it is this really noxious, odorous cloud that lingers in the air.”

Long-term effects are not fully understood, but benzene, which is a major component of the product, has been directly linked to blood cancer.

Michael Hale, who is a member of PIPE UP, was shocked to learn that the pipeline runs directly under his farmland, and that diluted bitumen is already being transported through his property. After the shock wore away, Hale became determined to know more.

“We have all these hearings for Enbridge northern gateway pipeline, yet suddenly there’s tar sands being shipped right here,” Hale says. “We have to talk about what our community wants and other alternatives.”

Hale looked specifically at the economics of the pipeline, trying to determine any benefits of an expansion.

“We are getting royalties,” Hale explained, “and that would double, but it’s still a pittance.”

“The other thing that really smacks you in the eye,” he continued, “is that the companies don’t address the economic costs and environmental risks associated with any spill. If you have a big spill, that comes to hundreds and millions of dollars in costs to clean up.”

This is the outcome that PIPE UP is struggling against.

“If we can stop Kinder Morgan from transporting tar sand diluted bitumen,” Muxlow concluded, “that would send a really strong message that this is not a piece of infrastructure that we want as part of our economy. We don’t want to be a doormat. The best way to help achieve that is just public awareness.”

http://ufvcascade.ca/2012/09/17/community-speaks-out-against-existing-pipeline/

The Dilbit Disaster: Inside The Biggest Oil Spill You’ve Never Heard Of, Part 1

http://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120626/dilbit-diluted-bitumen-enbridge-kalamazoo-river-marshall-michigan-oil-spill-6b-pipeline-epa

This is part 1 of a three-part series. You can read it all on an eBook now.

MARSHALL, Mich.—An acrid stench had already enveloped John LaForge’s five-bedroom house when he opened the door just after 6 a.m. on July 26, 2010. By the time the building contractor hurried the few feet to the refuge of his Dodge Ram pickup, his throat was stinging and his head was throbbing.

LaForge was at work excavating a basement when his wife called a couple of hours later. The odor had become even more sickening, Lorraine told him. And a fire truck was parked in front of their house, where Talmadge Creek rippled toward the Kalamazoo River.

LaForge headed home. By the time he arrived, the stink was so intense that he could barely keep his breakfast down.

Something else was wrong, too.

Water from the usually tame creek had inundated his yard, the way it often did after heavy rains. But this time a black goo coated swaths of his golf course-green grass. It stopped just 10 feet from the metal cap that marked his drinking water well. Walking on the tarry mess was like stepping on chewing gum.

LaForge said he was stooped over the creek, looking for the source of the gunk, when two men in a white truck marked Enbridge pulled up just before 10 a.m. One rushed to LaForge’s open front door and disappeared inside with an air-monitoring instrument.

The man emerged less than a minute later, and uttered the words that still haunt LaForge today: It’s not safe to be here. You’re going to have to leave your house. Now.

John and Lorraine LaForge, their grown daughter and one of the three grandchildren living with them at the time piled into the pickup and their minivan as fast as they could, given Lorraine’s health problems. They didn’t pause to grab toys for the baby or extra clothes for the two children at preschool. They didn’t even lock up the house.

Within a half hour, they had checked into two rooms at a Holiday Inn Express, which the family of six would call home for the next 61 days.

Their lives had been turned upside down by the first major spill of Canadian diluted bitumen in a U.S. river. Diluted bitumen is the same type of oil that could someday be carried by the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline. If that project is approved, the section that runs through Nebraska will cross the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies drinking water for eight states as well as 30 percent of the nation’s irrigation water.

“People don’t realize how your life can change overnight,” LaForge told an InsideClimate News reporter as they drove slowly past his empty house in November 2011. “It has been devastating.”

* * * *

The spill happened in Marshall, a community of 7,400 in southwestern Michigan. At least 1 million gallons of oil blackened more than two miles of Talmadge Creek and almost 36 miles of the Kalamazoo River, and oil is still showing up 23 months later, as the cleanup continues. About 150 families have been permanently relocated and most of the tainted stretch of river between Marshall and Kalamazoo remained closed to the public until June 21.

The accident was triggered by a six-and-a-half foot tear in 6B, a 30-inch carbon steel pipeline operated by Enbridge Energy Partners, the U.S. branch of Enbridge Inc., Canada’s largest transporter of crude oil. With Enbridge’s costs already totaling more than $765 million, it is the most expensive oil pipeline spill since the U.S. government began keeping records in 1968. An independent federal agency, the National Transportation Safety Board, is investigating the accident, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has launched criminal and civil probes.

Residents organize townhall meeting on pipeline

Burnaby Now
editorial@burnabynow.com

September 22, 2012

Dear Editor:

RE: Kinder Morgan’s response to townhall meeting

Kinder Morgan’s response to a planned townhall meeting is to claim that the company has a good safety record for shipping “diluted bitumen” (tar sands diluted with a cocktail of toxic hydrocarbons) and that diluted bitumen is no more “corrosive” than other types of crude oil (Burnaby Now, September 19, 2012).

Both of Kinder Morgan’s claims deserve close scrutiny.

First, Kinder Morgan “has declined to provide details on spill incidents in the past decade, but National Energy Board data show there have been nine leaks on the pipeline since 2002, which spilled a total of nearly 4,800 barrels of oil.”(1) The major incidents were at Sumas tank farm in 2005 and at the Burnaby terminal in 2009. Evacuations took place in Burnaby in areas near Government Road in 2009 and Forest Grove in 2010.

Second, diluted bitumen is derived from tar sands which is relatively solid at room temperature. This solid matter must be super heated, mixed with toxic cocktail of hydrocarbons and placed under intense pressure in order to transport it by pipeline. While it is true that some industry groups maintain that diluted bitumen is not anymore “corrosive” than conventional crude, many science based studies, have shown that diluted bitumen is more abrasive and thus more likely to cause increased risk of damage to pipes and related infastructure.(2)

In fact, refiners have found that tar sands derived crude contains significantly higher quantities of abrasive quartz sand particles than conventional crude. These studies maintain that the combination of chemical corrosion and physical abrasion can dramatically increase the rate of pipeline deterioration.

This is not to mention the problem of trying to clean-up diluted bitumen when, not if, spills occur. The main problem is that when the solvents used to transport tar sands dissipate, the resulting heavy oil tends to sink. If spilled bitumen is not located and cleaned up within hours of a spill, the heavy oil sinks in water and/or soil making it virtually impossible to remove. This was amply demonstrated in the recent massive spill near Kalamazoo, Michigan. (3)

I urge everyone to learn more and discuss the facts. The planned Townhall Meeting on October 10, 2012 at Confederation Park will help shed more light on heavy oil.

Yours,

Alan Williams

_________________
End Notes

1) http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Pipeline+safety+records+under+scrutiny+more/6949239/story.html#ixzz216cI8TzE

2) Crude Oil Quality Association, Standard Handbook of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, Planning Ahead for Effective Canadian Crude Processing, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association.

3) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/henry-henderson/kalamazoo-river-spill-two_b_1700343.html

By Jennifer Moreau, Burnaby Now September 19, 2012

Burnaby residents opposed to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion are holding a meeting to inform the public about the company’s plan to more than double oil shipments from Alberta to Burnaby.

“If you live in Burnaby, you are either directly affected by this proposed pipeline expansion or you know somebody who is,” said Mary Hatch of Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion in a press release.

Kinder Morgan is planning to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline, increasing capacity from 300,000 barrels of oil per day to 750,000. The line was built in the 1950s and transports various types of oil products, including diluted bitumen, a blend of solid petroleum and condensate. The residents’ group stated that bitumen poses an increased risk in the event of an oil spill because the condensate evaporates and the bitumen sinks to the ocean or river floor.

“We want to see the threat of toxic spills reduced, not increased,” said Karl Perrin, a member of the group. “Hosting a town hall meeting allows us to get some very knowledgeable people in front of concerned Burnaby residents.”

The group also raised concerns about increased tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet and Kinder Morgan’s plan to double capacity at the tank farm on Burnaby Mountain, as well as higher temperatures and pressures required to ship the diluted bitumen. Roughly a third of Kinder Morgan’s current shipments is bitumen diluted with condensate or synthetic crude, but the company can’t say how much it plans to move through the lines in the future if the expansion plan is approved. Kinder Morgan’s engineering director Michael Davies likened the transport of diluted bitumen to other forms of heavy crude.

“We haven’t seen any unusual corrosion or have had and other problems with

diluted bitumen,” Davies said. “At pipeline temperature, it’s not more acidic or corrosive than conventional crude oil.”

The first town hall meeting will be held Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. at Confederation Seniors’ Centre, at 4585 Albert St. Speakers will include Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Burnaby-Douglas MP Kennedy Stewart, Mayor Derek Corrigan, Mary Hatch from the residents’ group, and Ben West and Sven Biggs from the Wilderness Committee and Tanker Free B.C.

BROKE was recently formed by local residents, some of whom were directly affected by the 2007 Kinder Morgan pipeline spill.
© Copyright (c) Burnaby Now

Read more: http://www.burnabynow.com/news/Residents+organize+townhall+meeting+pipeline/7264205/story.html#ixzz26wb5U2se

News Release: Burnaby Townhall Meeting

Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) is hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7 PM to inform residents about Kinder Morgan’s plan to build a new pipeline that will ship crude bitumen from Alberta to Burrard Inlet.

“We want to see the threat of toxic spills reduced, not increased,” said Karl Perrin of BROKE. “Hosting a Town Hall meeting allows us to get some very knowledgeable people in front of concerned Burnaby residents.”

“A lot of people are assuming that the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline through Burnaby is business as usual, but there are some differences that significantly elevate the environmental risks to our community,” said Karl.

In fact:

• Instead of light crude, the pipeline will carry dirty oil from the tar sands diluted in a toxic mix of chemicals that are not publicly disclosed for proprietary reasons

• To move the bitumen and chemical slurry Kinder Morgan will have to ship it using intense heat and pressure, both of which elevate the risk of catastrophic pipeline failures

• Pipeline capacity will more than double, necessitating a dramatic expansion of storage tank capacity on Burnaby Mountain

• Increased pipeline capacity will result in enormous oil tankers in Burrard Inlet and the Georgia Basin

• Bitumen spills pose a significant problem because bitumin sinks after the condensate evaporates and cannot be cleaned from the rivers or ocean floor – a “minor” spill of semi-refined crude oil on Inlet Drive near the Barnet Highway five years ago is still being “cleaned up”

• The closure of the Canada Coast Guard station on Kitsilano Point will mean slower response times for spills in Burrard Inlet and English Bay

• Federal requirements to ensure our environment is protected have been gutted; decision making regarding pipeline projects has been removed from the National Energy Board by a government determined to export Canadian resources and jobs to Asian markets

“If you live in Burnaby, you are either directly affected by this proposed pipeline expansion, or you know somebody who is,” said Mary Hatch of BROKE. “Do we really want to put our community at risk for the benefit of Texas billionaires?”

Each part of Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion requires careful public consideration and debate because of the health and safety risks to people and the environment.

Get the facts on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7 PM at the Confederation Seniors’ Centre, 4585 Albert (near Willingdon, Burnaby, B.C.)

Speakers include :

• Rueben George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
• Mary Hatch, BROKE
• Kennedy Stewart, MP Burnaby North
• Derek Corrigan, Mayor, City of Burnaby
• Sven Biggs/Ben West, Tanker Free BC/Wilderness Committee

– 30 –

Background:

The Town Hall meeting is hosted by the Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE). This is the first of a series of events and meetings designed to inform and engage the citizens of Burnaby and the Lower Mainland. BROKE is an autonomous organization working with several environmental organizations and groups.

Spokespersons:

Karl Perrin E-mail: perrink@shaw.ca, 604-872-7326, 778-887-7395
Elsie Dean E-mail: ewdean@telus.net, 604-294-5834

BROKE Website at www.brokepipelinewatch.ca (under construction)

For a map of the existing pipeline, go to http://kennedystewart.ndp.ca/download/2968/trans_mountain_pipeline_route…

To review the National Energy Board’s Pipeline Regulation In Canada: A Guide for Landowners and the Public go to http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pplnrgltncnd/pplnrglt…

Tags:

Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE) is hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7 PM to inform residents about Kinder Morgan’s plan to build a new pipeline that will ship crude bitumen from Alberta to Burrard Inlet.

“We want to see the threat of toxic spills reduced, not increased,” said Karl Perrin of BROKE. “Hosting a Town Hall meeting allows us to get some very knowledgeable people in front of concerned Burnaby residents.”

“A lot of people are assuming that the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline through Burnaby is business as usual, but there are some differences that significantly elevate the environmental risks to our community,” said Karl.

In fact:

• Instead of light crude, the pipeline will carry dirty oil from the tar sands diluted in a toxic mix of chemicals that are not publicly disclosed for proprietary reasons

• To move the bitumen and chemical slurry Kinder Morgan will have to ship it using intense heat and pressure, both of which elevate the risk of catastrophic pipeline failures

• Pipeline capacity will more than double, necessitating a dramatic expansion of storage tank capacity on Burnaby Mountain

• Increased pipeline capacity will result in enormous oil tankers in Burrard Inlet and the Georgia Basin

• Bitumen spills pose a significant problem because bitumin sinks after the condensate evaporates and cannot be cleaned from the rivers or ocean floor – a “minor” spill of semi-refined crude oil on Inlet Drive near the Barnet Highway five years ago is still being “cleaned up”

• The closure of the Canada Coast Guard station on Kitsilano Point will mean slower response times for spills in Burrard Inlet and English Bay

• Federal requirements to ensure our environment is protected have been gutted; decision making regarding pipeline projects has been removed from the National Energy Board by a government determined to export Canadian resources and jobs to Asian markets

“If you live in Burnaby, you are either directly affected by this proposed pipeline expansion, or you know somebody who is,” said Mary Hatch of BROKE. “Do we really want to put our community at risk for the benefit of Texas billionaires?”

Each part of Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion requires careful public consideration and debate because of the health and safety risks to people and the environment.

Get the facts on Wednesday, October 10, 2012 at 7 PM at the Confederation Seniors’ Centre, 4585 Albert (near Willingdon, Burnaby, B.C.)

Speakers include :

• Rueben George, Tsleil-Waututh Nation
• Kennedy Stewart, MP Burnaby North
• Derrick Corrigan, Mayor, City of Burnaby
• Sven Biggs/Ben West, Tanker Free BC/Wilderness Committee
• Mary Hatch, BROKE

– 30 –

Background:

The Town Hall meeting is hosted by the Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE). This is the first of a series of events and meetings designed to inform and engage the citizens of Burnaby and the Lower Mainland. BROKE is an autonomous organization working with several environmental organizations and groups.

Spokespersons:

Karl Perrin E-mail: perrink@shaw.ca, 604-872-7326, 778-887-7395
Elsie Dean E-mail: ewdean@telus.net, 604-294-5834

BROKE Website at www.brokepipelinewatch.ca (under construction)

For a map of the existing pipeline, go to http://kennedystewart.ndp.ca/download/2968/trans_mountain_pipeline_route_map.pdf

To review the National Energy Board’s Pipeline Regulation In Canada: A Guide for Landowners and the Public go to http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pplnrgltncnd/pplnrgltncnd-eng.pdf

First Nation opposes pipeline expansion

Author
JENNIFER MOREAU
Picture: Save the Fraser: Gabriel George, a traditional speaker with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, leads a ceremony prior to the nation’s signing of the Save the Fraser declaration. The document reaffirms Tsleil-Waututh opposition to Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion, which will run through the nation’s traditional territory in Burnaby.
Photograph by: James Maclennan , SPECIAL TO THE BURNABY NOWA First Nation with traditional territory in Burnaby took another stance against the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion this past weekend.

On behalf of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, elected chief Justin George signed a declaration to save the Fraser River on Saturday, reaffirming the group’s opposition to the proposed twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“We see the risks in this way too high,” George told the NOW.

The pipeline ships oil from Alberta to Burnaby, where tankers fill up with crude at the Westridge Marine Terminal in the Burrard Inlet inside the nation’s traditional territory.

According to George, the nation is concerned about the day-to-day operation of the pipeline, the proposed expansion and the associated increase in tanker traffic.

“The Vancouver port is challenging to navigate,” George said. “It’s called the Second Narrows for a reason – because it’s narrow. – We see human error as inevitable. In terms of an accident, we don’t think ‘if,’ we think ‘when?'”

The Trans Mountain pipeline transports up to 300,000 barrels of oil per day, but Kinder Morgan wants to increase capacity to 750,000 barrels by adding a twin line. The Tsleil-Waututh reserve is in North Vancouver, across the water from the Westridge Marine Terminal, but the group has traditional territory all around the inlet.

Tsleil-Waututh means people of the inlet, and the nation has a saying: “When the tide went out, the table was set.”

“As a young boy, we could harvest the clams, the cockles, the oysters,” George said. “Today, the Burrard Inlet is a complete dead zone for shellfish.”

George blamed major industry, especially oil, for the pollution and loss of edible shellfish.

Before signing the declaration on Saturday, the nation also hosted a traditional ceremony, with various business, environmental and First Nations groups as invited guests.

“For us, it’s about educating the public and creating awareness

about the proposal that’s in our territory and Greater Vancouver,” George said.

George seemed confident the nation could stop the project.

“We have aboriginal rights and title, and we’ll ensure those are respected and upheld in the process,” he said. “We have inherent rights to self-government; we’ve never deeded or ceded the land. – We don’t see any monetary value that can compensate the risks that are associated with this project.”

Kinder Morgan spokesperson Lexa Hobenshield confirmed

that the existing and proposed twin pipeline is in the traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

“We are just getting underway with an open and thorough engagement along the route and marine corridor with aboriginal groups, landowners, communities and stakeholders,” she wrote in an email to the NOW. “We value our relationships with aboriginal groups in whose territories we operate and recognize and appreciate that aboriginal groups’ interests and responsibilities are unique. We are committed to open, transparent dialogue and mutually beneficial working relationships.”

Hobenshield said the company believes that engagement with aboriginal governments and peoples is important for ongoing operations and new projects.

“We have been seeking the opportunity to meet with Tsleil-Waututh for some time now. While they have advised they are not ready to meet with us yet, we stand ready to provide information to them and to meet with them at any time,” Hobenshield said. “We recognize that there will be some opposition to our project. This is about a balance of interests. We are committed to an extensive and thorough engagement on all aspects of the project with communities along the proposed route and marine corridors.”

Hobenshield said that results from the public hearing process will be the basis of Kinder Morgan’s application to the National Energy Board, which will determine if the project is in the public’s interest.

jmoreau@burnabynow.com

© Copyright (c) Burnaby Now

Read more: http://www.burnabynow.com/First+Nation+opposes+pipeline+expansion/6915731/story.html#ixzz2NucWlmRp