Burnaby Seeks Official Intervener Status to Oppose the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

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Burnaby Seeks Official Intervener Status to Oppose the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project

February 3, 2014

For immediate release

On December 16, 2013, Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline (TMPL) submitted an application to the National Energy Board (NEB), seeking authorization to build and operate its proposed $5.4 billion Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which would almost triple oil capacity (from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day) in pipelines running to Burnaby from the Alberta oilsands, and bring approximately six times as many tankers per year into Burrard Inlet (up from about 60 to 400), shipping diluted bitumen from the Westridge Marine Terminal for export. The pipeline would run through Burnaby and would terminate at Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal.

To oppose construction of the pipeline and ensure that many potential negative impacts of the proposed pipeline are considered by the National Energy Board, the City of Burnaby has formally applied for Intervener Status in the Hearings that are part of the NEB Public Hearing process.

The proposed pipeline would carry diluted bitumen (heavy crude oil products) from the Alberta oil sands to Burnaby, for export. Its construction and operation would have many negative impacts on the City. The pipeline would require extensive land disruption for construction and would result in expansion of facilities in Burnaby. Much of the line through Burnaby is proposed to follow new routes that would require new rights-of-way to be constructed. In addition, Kinder Morgan’s application proposes expansion of the Burnaby Mountain Terminal (the large round holding tanks that can be seen on the mountain in North Burnaby) from 13 to 26 tanks (more than tripling their storage capacity with larger tanks) and the construction of three new loading docks and a utility dock at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.

Regarding required new rights-of-way, west of Hope everything from agricultural land to the Fraser River and residential communities will be impacted. Trans Mountain’s application describes the route: “West of the District of Hope, the proposed pipeline corridor generally follows the existing TMPL and Highway 1 (Trans-Canada Highway) rights-of-way in the narrow strip of land between the Fraser River and the Skagit Range of the Cascade Mountains. The remainder of the proposed pipeline corridor traverses the rich agricultural lands of the Lower Mainland of BC, which becomes increasingly urbanized from the Fraser Valley Regional District west to Metro Vancouver.”

Specifically regarding new corridors that will be required to allow the pipeline to travel through Burnaby, Trans Mountain’s application states “On the north side of the Fraser River, urbanization in the cities of Coquitlam and Burnaby has encroached considerably on the existing TMPL right-of-way in the past 60 years to make contiguous looping extremely difficult… The proposed pipeline corridor follows the Lougheed Highway, although a deviation is being considered to traverse existing industrial lands and railway easements within the Brunette River Conservation Area. Both the proposed pipeline corridor and the deviation eventually connect to TMPL’s Burnaby Terminal via other city streets.”

“I am extremely concerned about this proposal to build pipelines through Burnaby streets and communities to carry heavy oil from Alberta for export,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan. “Our City would be severely impacted by the construction of the new pipelines, then would be perpetually and permanently vulnerable to potential spills – on Burnaby land, near Burnaby homes and in Burrard Inlet. Trans Mountain’s application even shows potential spill zones that would see oil flow down Burnaby Mountain into Burnaby Lake. This is completely unacceptable and we will do everything we can to ensure this pipeline is not built.”

“We have already dealt with one significant Trans Mountain spill in our City – in 2007 . A Burnaby neighbourhood was drenched in oil, oil leaked into Burrard Inlet and Kask Creek, and 44 homes were oiled, requiring evacuation of families. This was a relatively small spill and was not the diluted bitumen that Trans Mountain is proposing to carry in the new lines. In spite of safety assurances from Kinder Morgan and Trans Mountain, in Burnaby we know what can and does really happen with pipelines and we will not stand idly by while Trans Mountain proposes to further increase our City’s risk.”

Burnaby groups and citizens can independently apply to participate in the National Energy Board hearings online through the National Energy Board’s website at http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pplctnsbfrthnb/trnsmntnxpnsn/trnsmntnxpnsn-eng.html. You can also contact the NEB at 1-866-514-6700 or ask to be added to an email list that provides updates on the hearing process at http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pplctnsbfrthnb/trnsmntnxpnsn/frm/trnsmntnxpnsncntcts-eng.html. All applications for participation must be received by the NEB by 11 a.m., Pacific time, February 12.

Public workshops are being planned by the City to offer to residents and businesses information about the proposed expansion. Details on workshop dates, times and locations will be provided in near future.


For additional information, contact:
Office of the Mayor