When Mother Earth Has Nothing Left To Give, We Must Slow Down

When Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project review began in April 2014, it was on a fast track to approval. The 2012 changes to the National Energy Board Act established a truncated process that would have seen a decision on this massive project by fall 2015.

However, the project has since hit multiple snags, including a delay in any approval until spring 2016, unprecedented protests relating to Kinder Morgan’s drilling activities on Burnaby Mountain, and increasing community and First Nations opposition.

One of the drivers of this frustration is the NEB’s continued refusal to hold public hearings in the part of the country that will arguably be most directly affected by the proposal: Burnaby, the pipeline terminus and the point at which the bitumen would be loaded onto tankers to travel through the Salish Sea.

Thus, in 2014, First Nations and indigenous groups that wanted to give oral evidence to the NEB panel about their traditions, their worries, and their way of life were required to attend at other locations in the province.

In late October, representatives of four United States Tribes — the Lummi, Suquamish, Swinomish, and Tulalip Tribes — travelled up the Fraser Valley to Chilliwack to share their history, their concerns, and their worries about the Kinder Morgan expansion with the NEB. This is one of the lesser-told stories of 2014.

The four tribes have lived on the coast and relied on the Salish Sea for their way of life since time immemorial. Like the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation — whose lands and waters are in and around the tanker terminal in Burnaby — they are all Coast Salish nations. While most people recognize the Canada-U.S. border as the political separation between the two countries, for the Coast Salish, that border is simply a line on a piece of paper. Better than most, they understand that the potential environmental and cultural harms Kinder Morgan’s project could inflict won’t stop at the border.

Along with their representatives from Earthjustice — Ecojustice’s sister organization in the United States — these tribes are taking a strong stand with Canadian First Nations to oppose this pipeline. The importance of place is such that these tribes are dedicating time, resources, hearts, and minds to opposing Kinder Morgan’s proposal.

The reason is simple: The way they see it, Mother Earth has nothing left to give.

One by one, indigenous elders, leaders, youth, and fishermen stood before the NEB panel. They spoke of their connection with the sea and its resources and how any expansion of tanker traffic would further harm their lives, their economies, the ongoing practice of traditional ways of life, and the tribes’ continual efforts to protect the health of the Salish Sea. They expressed their deep concerns about increased threats to the Salish Sea, such as the risk of a catastrophic accident and oil disaster — something that seems inevitable with the large-scale pipeline expansion.

The testimonies shared by these Tribes and other Coast Salish Nations are a potent reminder that deep knowledge and connection to land and sea is something that we all need to develop.

From the fur trade, to forestry, to oil and gas development, Canada’s industries have a long history of drawing down resources and moving on — showing little concern for the finite capacity of the natural world or respect for connection to place. But that pattern cannot continue indefinitely. Tar sands extraction is more extreme than previous resource grabs. Not only are we running out of oil to extract and forests to log, the atmosphere is hitting the point where it can no longer absorb our carbon emissions without grave climate impacts.

We must learn from people who have a deep connection to place and accept that the earth has limits that must be respected. We must recognize that the harmful impacts from this pipeline will not respect international borders.

Communities like the U.S. Tribes and Canadian First Nations that have been here since time immemorial remind us that we who live here now have a duty to protect our home. Unless we do, we will continue down the path laid out by multinational energy companies, where nature and the opposition of local communities are seen as mere logistical challenges to be overcome by re-routing pipelines through mountains and writing fat cheques. And eventually we will still have to come to terms with the reality that Mother Nature has no more to give.

This piece was written by Ecojustice staff lawyer Karen Campbell. Ecojustice is one of Canada’s leading charities using the law to protect and restore Canada’s environment. Learn more at ecojustice.ca.



City of Burnaby seeking more answers on pipeline

City asks 640 questions in second round of information requests in Kinder Morgan pipeline hearing

by Jennifer Moreau

The City of Burnaby wants more answers on Kinder Morgan’s pipeline plan, but the mayor isn’t getting his hopes up.

Last Thursday, the city filed 200 pages – with 640 questions – in the second round of information requests for the National Energy Board hearing on the plan to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline.

“Based on the disrespect for our questions that Kinder Morgan has demonstrated to date, we are not optimistic about getting meaningful responses,” Mayor Derek Corrigan stated in a media release. “Nevertheless, because it is the only option available to us, we will again try to get answers within the framework of the flawed National Energy Board process through which this proposal is being reviewed.”

The NEB used to allow intervenors to orally cross-examine companies in pipeline hearings, but those questions now have to be put in writing, hence the information requests. The city’s latest questions probe the company’s emergency response plans and the project’s impact on health, safety and the environment.

According to the mayor, 62 per cent of the city’s first list of questions, filed in the initial round of information requests in May last year, went unanswered or only partially answered. The city, along with other intervenors, complained about the non-responses.

“So while this should simply be an opportunity to ask new questions – which we are doing- it has, disappointingly, also become a second attempt to get our first questions answered,” Corrigan said.

The City of Burnaby’s first question relates to Kinder Morgan’s emergency management plan, as the city wants an unredacted copy. On Friday, the NEB released a decision allowing Kinder Morgan to keep parts of overall emergency response program redacted. (See related story here.)

When the NOW contacted Kinder Morgan with questions, the company sent an emailed statement from Scott Stoness, one of Kinder Morgan Canada’s vice-president.

“Jan. 15 was the deadline for information requests as part of the regulatory review, and we will be reviewing all questions, including the (information requests) filed by the City of Burnaby. The questions cover a variety of subjects including safety, security, and emergency and spill response, and many of the questions are very detailed and involved. We welcome the questions from the City of Burnaby. Kinder Morgan is committed to a transparent and full process as has been defined by the NEB. Trans Mountain will answer all questions that fall within the scope of (the) NEB hearing.”

Meanwhile, the City of Vancouver has filed close to 600 questions for Kinder Morgan with similar complaints, that more than one-quarter of its questions from the first round weren’t answered. The provincial government also filed more than 110 pages of questions. Kinder Morgan has until Feb. 18 to respond.

Province needs more details on Kinder Morgan’s emergency plan

by Jennifer Moreau

The National Energy Board is allowing Kinder Morgan to keep parts of its emergency management plan for the Trans Mountain pipeline system redacted for commercial, security and privacy reasons, despite the provincial government’s insistence on more details.

The provincial government asked for the missing information, along with an oil spill response plan, in a Dec. 5 motion filed with the NEB.

“The province has found the redactions made by Trans Mountain to be excessive, unjustified and prohibitive. The redactions thwart the province’s examination of the EMP (emergency management program) documents, and preclude a thorough understanding of Trans Mountain’s EMP by the board and all intervenors,” the government’s motion reads.

Some of the missing information includes people’s names and phones numbers, bomb threat checklists and valve locations. A section on the Burnaby tank farm is missing information on site drainage and maps for the terminal and the evacuation zone.

But in a decision released last Thursday, the NEB sided with Kinder Morgan.

“In this instance, the board is satisfied that sufficient information has been filed from the existing EMP documents to meet the board’s requirements at this stage in the process,” the response reads. The board went on to explain that the province will be privy to some of the missing documents as Kinder Morgan consults “implicated parties” to update the plans for the proposed pipeline expansion.

Pending NEB approval, Kinder Morgan plans to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline, which would nearly triple the line’s capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000, while increasing tanker traffic nearly seven fold.

As for the oil spill response plan, the NEB cited Kinder Morgan’s line – that it can’t file what it doesn’t have – because Kinder Morgan is waiting for information from Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, the company in charge of cleaning up oil spills on water.

Several municipalities wrote to the NEB in support of the province’s request for more information, including Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, North Vancouver and West Vancouver, as well as First Nations bands and environmental groups.

Kinder Morgan filed most of its emergency management plan with the NEB last October, which means the documents are publicly available through the board’s website. Kinder Morgan initially wanted to keep the documents secret for proprietary reasons, which the NEB sometimes allows. In this case, the board ruled that public interest outweighed Kinder Morgan’s request to keep the plan confidential.

Mayor, MP no longer supporting Chevron at NEB hearings

Wanda Chow

Chevron Canada can no longer count on the support of Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan or Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart at its National Energy Board (NEB) hearings this week.

The hearings are for Chevron’s application for priority destination status on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline to ensure a steady supply of crude oil for its North Burnaby refinery. The company applied for the status last year in response to ongoing supply shortages due to it having to increasingly share capacity on the pipeline with other users.

But while both the mayor and MP are the only politicians granted intervenor status at the hearings, and both planned to speak on Chevron’s behalf, neither now plan to attend.

That’s because at recent NEB hearings for Kinder Morgan’s commercial tolling application for a proposed expansion of the same pipeline, which runs between Edmonton and Burnaby, a Chevron representative indicated that company supports the pipeline twinning.

That was news to both politicians, who have been outspoken critics of the expansion proposal, which is geared towards exporting oil sands crude to overseas markets.

“It’s harder to support [Chevron] now that they’re not neutral,” said Stewart. “I don’t think the community is going to be happy about that [changed stance].”

Corrigan said he had received assurances from Chevron that it was not taking a position on the pipeline expansion.

“I couldn’t have been more disappointed that after having told me they were going to remain neutral they came out in the tolling application and said they were in support of the Kinder Morgan expansion.”

Corrigan stressed that he never asked Chevron to oppose the expansion proposal, but as long as they remained neutral “I thought there was nothing hypocritical about me attending on behalf of the city to say we support their application.”

Calling Chevron’s support of the expansion “gratuitous,” Corrigan said the company “has decided that they want to have it both ways … In essence what they’re saying is we don’t care about the impacts of the pipeline, all we care about is us. And if the solution to us getting what we want is you expanding the pipeline then we’re in favour of that. Well that is not the position the city has taken, the city has taken the position they’re opposed to the pipeline [expansion].”

Burnaby’s position is still that Chevron should get priority status for the crude supply that’s brought in by the existing pipeline.

As for not speaking at the hearings this week, Corrigan said it would have been a lot of effort to testify in Calgary and be cross-examined by Chevron’s opponents on the issue.

“How far am I going to go out of my way in order to try to help Chevron when they’re working at cross-purposes to the city?”

He pointed out that the easiest way for the NEB to give Chevron a priority supply of crude is to approve Kinder Morgan’s expansion.

“If [Chevron has] got the City of Burnaby standing beside them saying the most import thing for us is Chevron gets the supply, then they’re going to say, ‘well Burnaby, you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth. You’re supporting Chevron and they’re saying expand and you’re saying you want Chevron to get a supply, what’s wrong with you?'”

Ray Lord, spokesperson for Chevron Canada’s Burnaby refinery, said the company’s position has not changed.

“As we’ve made clear from the start, Chevron supports the safe and efficient, movement of Canadian energy resources to diversified markets and pipeline expansion could certainly play a key role in that opportunity,” Lord said in an emailed statement. “The issue for us at this time is ensuring the Burnaby refinery has a reliable and economic source of crude. Our application for Priority Destination Designation is the essential element to ensuring cost-effective access, whether on the existing or an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline system.”

Lord said priority access would be “in the best interests” of Burnaby by helping ensure ongoing access to a reliable supply of competitively priced products for its customers, keeping 400 well-paying refinery jobs in the city and providing an economic impact of over $70 million spent annually on local goods and services.

“We cannot speculate on how [Corrigan’s and Stewart’s position] might impact our Priority Destination Designation application. The basis of our application to the NEB remains the same.”



Fake consultation process isn’t fooling anyone: B.C. doesn’t want new Kinder Morgan pipeline


Kinder Morgan’s so-called “public information sessions” Fake consultation process isn’t fooling anyone: B.C. doesn’t want new Kinder Morgan pipeline are little more than a dog and pony show.

Billed as an open forum for dialogue regarding the Houston-based company’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline project, sessions like the one last Saturday in North Vancouver fail to even present residents with detailed community-level maps of the pipeline route. How can you provide any meaningful information about a pipeline project without key information that relates to local neighbourhoods?

Worse yet, Kinder Morgan will likely use these sessions to try and say they have adequately consulted with communities about the project. At best, these sessions are focus groups that we are participating in for free.

Rather than supplying valuable information to the public, it seems the company is using this process to extract information from us. They are acting as if they are in the midst of a federal or provincial environmental assessment process but they are not — they haven’t even filed any detailed plans with the National Energy Board. People need to know that there will in fact be a full on consultation process once the company files with the NEB at the end of next year. If the provincial NDP ends up in office, there will also be a “made in B.C.” process.

So what can Kinder Morgan definitively say about their plans at this point? Not much. That’s why I call it a “focus group.” It seems to me these meetings are a way of using concerned citizens to help the company figure out how best to sell the project to the public when they do in fact apply.

Read more: http://rabble.ca/news/2012/11/fake-consultation-process-isnt-fooling-anyone-bc-doesnt-want-kinder-morgan-pipeline

Middle ground unlikely in Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain debate

Risk is part of the equation for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion project, but it can be managed.

That was the message from SMIT Marine Canada president Frans Tjallingii.

He argued in favour of the project at a debate Tuesday evening at UBC Robson Square.

“I think there’s always going to be a certain level of risk, but it’s about evaluating what that risk is and taking mitigating measures and then improving on those measures as we go along. Not waiting for accidents to happen, but also learning from things that are not yet an incident and improving on that basis.”

Those arguing against the pipeline said they didn’t doubt those in favour of the project would try to make it as safe as possible.

They just said they doubted protective measures would ultimately prevent an environmental catastrophe.

Documentary filmmaker Damien Gillis was on the panel opposing the pipeline expansion.

He says even from a financial perspective, the plan doesn’t make sense.

“I look at the risk versus reward. Still, I’m unpersuaded and I don’t think I will be at this point.”

Gillis says if there was an oil spill as a result of increased tanker traffic the cost could be up to $40-billion.

And as for the “Greenest City in the World” ambitions?

He says the project could lead to the city kissing that dream goodbye.

National Energy Board Tolling Hearings

Sheila Muxlow

8:57 PM

Hi folks –

I wanted to ensure that you all had this information about the National Energy Board Tolling Hearings that Lynn Perrin has been keeping up with.

Lynn has been doing an excellent job in keeping up with these hearings, and wanted to invite everyone to take some time to submit a comment to the NEB with any concerns you have about the proposal by Kinder Morgan to build a new pipeline and increase their exports of tar sands diluted bitumen.

Please see the info below and attached – and feel free to be in touch with Lynn if you would like to get more involved in this process.


Should Pipe Up Network request NEB Public Information Session(s)?


Sometimes NEB staff members will go out to communities that may be impacted by the proposed project to conduct a public information session. These informal meetings are held before the start of an oral hearing and they provide people with information on how to participate during the hearing as well as information on the hearing process. Information sessions are not the time for people to voice their opinion on a project; rather it is a chance to get information on the NEB hearing process.

Dates and locations for these information sessions may be announced through news releases, newspaper and possibly radio ads, community posters or on the NEB’s website.
Participating in a Public Hearing
How can I participate in a hearing?

Depending on the process chosen by the NEB for a project’s assessment, there are typically three ways that individuals or groups may participate in a hearing:

write a letter of comment;
make an oral statement; or
become an intervenor.

The Board will set out the available options for participation in the Hearing Order.
Letters of Comment

If you want to share your views on a project but not formally participate in a hearing, you can do so by submitting a letter of comment to the Secretary of the NEB. You must also send a copy of this letter to the applicant. A letter of comment should include your view on the project and also include information to support that view. Letters of comment will be accepted up to the deadline noted in the Hearing Order.

Letters of comment will be taken into consideration during the hearing process. They will not be considered sworn evidence and are not subject to questioning. As a result, letters of comment may not be given the same weight as sworn evidence in a hearing, although the weight of the letters depends on a number of factors, including the content.

All letters of comment become public documents once they have been submitted. They will be available on the NEB website and copies are sent to all parties participating in the hearing.
Oral Statements

Another potential option for participation is to make an oral statement at the hearing. People making oral statements are not considered to be intervenors. To make an oral statement you must register with the NEB. The registration process is very simple – state your interest in the project and the reason you wish to make an oral statement. The form is available on the NEB website or you can call 1-800-899-1265 to have a copy sent to you.

An intervenor is someone who has an interest in a proposed project and would like to formally participate in the hearing. Being an intervenor requires a commitment to the hearing process and a commitment of your time. There also may be some costs associated with being an intervenor, such as preparing your evidence, making copies and sending documents to other parties.

The NEB has a Participant Funding Program to support public participation in oral facility hearings that are held under the National Energy Board Act. Eligible recipients include individuals, Aboriginal groups, landowners, incorporated non-industry not-for-profit organizations, or other interest groups who seek to intervene in the public review process for projects in which they have a meaningful interest.

All approved recipients must register for intervenor status in the oral public hearing and sign a Standard Contribution Agreement before funding will be released.

Intervenors may present evidence, question other witnesses and give final arguments during the written and oral portions of the hearing. Intervenors can also be questioned on any evidence they present.

Intervenors can be:

area residents;
government agencies;
Aboriginal groups;
companies; or
any other individual or group.

To become an intervenor, you must apply to the NEB within the time frame set in the Hearing Order. The NEB will decide if your interest in the proposed project is enough for your participation in the hearing as an intervenor. If there are a number of people with similar interests in the project, you may want to consider applying as a group and having only one or two representatives speaking for that group.

Should Pipe Up be formally involved in any of the 3 NEB procedures?

Specific Information re Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Part IV


Oral Public Hearing

The Board has decided to undertake an oral public hearing process, with the oral portion of the

hearing to take place in the Board’s Hearing Room, 2nd Floor, 444 – 7th Avenue SW, Calgary,

Alberta, commencing on 13 February 2013. The Hearing Order setting out the procedures to be

followed in this hearing may be found on the Board’s website at the link set out above.

Information for Intervenors

Any person wishing to apply for Intervenor status in the hearing must file an application to

intervene by noon, Calgary time, on 15 October 2012 with the Secretary of the Board and serve

a copy on Trans Mountain and its counsel at the following addresses:

Mr. D. Scott Stoness

Vice President, Finance & Regulatory Affairs

Kinder Morgan Canada Inc.

(for Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC)

Suite 2700, 300 – 5th Avenue SW

Calgary, AB T2P 5J2

Facsimile: 403-514-6622

Mr. Gordon M. Nettleton

Legal Counsel

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Suite 2500, 450 1st Street SW

Calgary, AB T2P 5H1

Facsimile: 403-260-7024

Anyone considering an application for Intervenor status should consult the relevant paragraphs

of the Hearing Order prior to submitting an Application for Intervenor Status. There is an on-line

application to intervene form available on the Board’s Internet site at www.neb-one.gc.ca. Under

Regulatory Documents, go to Submit, then Submit Documents Electronically, then Application

for Intervenor Status. If using this form, supplement it as required by the Hearing Order.

Alternatively, persons may file Letters of Comment by noon, Calgary time, on 25 October 2012.

Process Advisor

The Board has assigned Ms. Reny Chakkalakal as the Process Advisor for this Application. If

you are thinking about participating in the Board’s hearing process for this Application, Reny

can provide you with assistance. Please contact Reny toll free at 1-800-899-1265 or via email at


Information on Hearing Procedures

In addition to the information you will find in the Hearing Order on the Board’s website, you

may obtain information on the procedures for this hearing in the National Energy Board Rules of

Practice and Procedure, 1995, as amended, which governs all hearings (available in English and

French). To obtain a paper copy, write to the Secretary of the Board, or contact Sharon Wong,

Regulatory Officer at 403-299-3191 or Danielle Comte, Regulatory Officer at 403-299-2731 or

at 1-800-899-1265. You may also go to the Board’s website under Acts and Regulations.

NEB Public Participation Guide and other links

Alan Hunter
BROKE has applied to have an information session with the NEB on public participation in the Kinder Morgan application process.

Public Participation guide on the NEB website: http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pblchrng/pblchrngpmphlt-eng.html

Other links of value:

1. Index page for Kinder Morgan’s commercial tolling application: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=828580&objAction=browse&sort=-name

2. NEB hearing order: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=865702&objAction=browse

3. Kennedy Stewart’s intervention application: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=867416&objAction=browse&sort=name