City of Vancouver launches judicial review of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion

City of Vancouver

News Release

June 20, 2016

City launches judicial review of Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion

The City of Vancouver has filed with the Federal Court of Appeal an application for a judicial review of the National Energy Board’s (NEB) decision to conditionally recommend Kinder Morgan’s pipeline expansion project (the “Project”), citing that it is both invalid and unlawful. Throughout the NEB review process, the City and many other intervenors have raised significant concerns about its flawed process which excluded any opportunities for oral cross-examination of experts and evidence, provided inadequate information sharing and failed to properly consult affected communities along the pipeline and tanker route.

“An expanded Kinder Morgan pipeline is not in Vancouver or Canada’s economic or environmental interest,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The National Energy Board failed to properly and thoroughly consult local communities on the pipeline and tanker route, ignoring key pieces of scientific evidence showing the potential for real and catastrophic damage to local waters in the event of an oil spill, and the impact of an expanded pipeline on greenhouse gas emissions both locally and abroad. Vancouver still has significant concerns about Kinder Morgan’s expansion and we’ve concluded it’s simply not worth the risk to our environment or economy.”

In the application, the City outlines that the NEB failed to comply with the requirements of the NEB Act by ignoring key pieces of evidence submitted by the City as part of the process which supported the City’s position that:

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West Coast Tells Ottawa: Reject Trans Mountain Expansion

The West Coast brought fighting words to Ottawa today, asking the federal government to deny final approval of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion.

A delegation from Vancouver said it came to Ottawa to urge the government to “say a definitive no” to Kinder Morgan’s proposal to twin its existing line from Alberta to British Columbia.

Meanwhile, Green Party leader Elizabeth May said she would be seeking a judicial review of the National Energy Board’s approval process.

The regulator recently approved the project, and it now waits final approval from Ottawa.

The delegation composed of Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, Chief Maureen Thomas from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, Chief Ian Campbell from the Squamish Nation, and Councillor Howard Grant from the Musqueam Nation.

All the First Nations are located near Vancouver, and their representatives said the Liberal government’s actions on the pipeline would prove to be a test of its sincerity in reconciliation with First Nations.

“We are here representing our citizens on the West Coast; our consent is required on this project,” Robertson said. “The vast majority in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland do not support the Kinder Morgan expansion pipeline project.”

Read full article here

Kinder Morgan leaves half of Vancouver, Burnaby’s pipeline questions unanswered

Cities’ mayors call on National Energy Board to force pipeline company to address issues

Kinder Morgan has failed to answer almost half of the questions posed by the cities of Vancouver and Burnaby on the company’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion into B.C.
In a statement issued Friday, the City of Vancouver states that Kinder Morgan has failed to answer 291 of nearly 600 questions submitted by them through the National Energy Board (NEB), and 315 of the 688 questions submitted by Burnaby.

The more than 1200 questions submitted by the two municipalities covered a broad range of issues connected to Kinder Morgan’s 15,000-page proposal, including those covering job creation levels, climate change and emergency response plans.

“Because the city has very significant questions that focus on the hundreds of ways in which Kinder Morgan’s proposed pipeline and tank farm would threaten our city and region’s safety, security and livability, we again asked Kinder Morgan to provide answers,” Burnaby mayor Derek Corrigan said in the statement.

“Unfortunately – but not surprisingly – Kinder Morgan has again failed to show respect for our citizens’ questions by refusing to answer almost half.”

Redacted safety plan

Vancouver and Burnaby say they will continue to call on the NEB to force Kinder Morgan to address these outstanding issues.

Just last week, Kinder Morgan defended its decision to only provide a heavily redacted version of its emergency spill response plan.

The company is seeking approval from the NEB to nearly triple the capacity of the existing pipeline. The $5.4 billion project would twin the existing pipeline that runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, B.C.

The National Energy Board (NEB) ruled in favour of Kinder Morgan’s redacted plan in January.

“In this instance, the board is satisfied that sufficient information has been filed from the existing EMP [Emergency Management Plan] documents to meet the board’s requirements at this stage in the process,” the decision read.

At that time, Premier Christy Clark said Kinder Morgan hadn’t met the five conditions set out by the province, and until that happened, it wouldn’t be going ahead with the project.

Vancouver mayor, port officials square off over coal shipments

VANCOUVER – Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson wants to ban coal exports from the city’s port based on health concerns, but officials with the port are calling his motion “meaningless” and “inaccurate.”

Robertson’s motion is to be heard at city council next week and would create a bylaw banning coal exporting activity on the grounds that train transport of coal to the Port of Metro Vancouver creates coal dust and diesel fumes. The motion notes the health impacts are relatively unknown.

Coun. Andrea Reimer said the city first became concerned when the port started to expand in Surrey and North Vancouver.

“We haven’t had any proposals for a long time and suddenly there’s two: one in Surrey and one in North Van,” said Reimer. “We would be the next logical place, because we are the port hubs in Vancouver, and we have the rail lines going through.”

The mayor’s motion also states the Port of Metro Vancouver has “no responsibility for impacts from port activities outside the port.”

Duncan Wilson, the Port of Metro Vancouver’s vice president of corporate social responsibility, said the motion is inaccurate.

“None of the coal trains come through the city of Vancouver. Anywhere,” said Wilson.

“What I’m concerned about is that the motion makes some statements that I believe are incorrect. If the city wants to take a position on coal, that’s one thing. But we do take very seriously the impact of our operations on local communities, and the motion suggests we don’t do that.”

Wilson said he believes many of the health impacts the city is concerned about have already been addressed, “but it would be interesting to have that dialogue with the health authorities,” he said.”I do know in terms of dust mitigation they spray down the coal so that it doesn’t create dust as it moves down the corridor. In terms of diesel exhaust, you’d have to speak to railways about that.”

Reimer said Vancouver is actually behind when it comes to considering the potential health impacts of coal exporting.

“Frankly we’re behind when you look at the west coast of North America which is where a lot of the coal is leaving the continent,” she said. “We are well behind Los Angeles and other major ports — Seattle, State of Oregon — in looking at health impacts and how it relates to coal exports.”

She said the Port of Metro Vancouver needs to be more accountable by giving the public the absolute right of access to information.

“Quite a few health professionals and health organizations have written to Port Metro Vancouver urging them to better involve health authorities because it’s in the Metro Vancouver region,” said Reimer.

But Wilson said he believes the motion has no effect on the Port, as there are no plans to put a coal facility on any land in Vancouver.

“I mean, I understand their interest in bigger issues around coal, but it seems to me that the motion is basically meaningless in terms of its impact.”