Burnaby Teacher’s Association Resolutions on Pipeline Safety

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Resolution #7: BCTF AGM

Burnaby Teacher’s Association
Resolutions on Pipeline Safety

Submitted by: James Sanyshyn
MOVED:         Sanyshyn/

    1. That the BCTF call on the Provincial government, the Ministry of Education and the Burnaby Board of Education to investigate the specific health and safety risks of long term exposure to jet fuel and other oil products, including diluted bitumen and the chemicals used to transport it, at schools on or near the present oil pipelines and oil tank farms in Burnaby;
    2. That the BCTF also call on the Ministry of Education to prepare a detailed health and safety plan for all affected schools in BC to respond to any oil spills or exposure to the highly toxic chemicals used in modern oil pipelines and tank farms, as well as specific evacuation training for staff;
    3. That the BCTF also call on the Provincial government to develop long term gas leak monitoring along all oil pipelines, refineries, and tank farms near or adjacent to schools and school yards across the province.

Supporting statement:Jet fuel and heavy oil pipelines carrying many thousands of barrels of oil per day traverse northern Burnaby near or adjacent to many schools and school play grounds. The Trans Mountain pipeline, owned by the US giant oil company Kinder Morgan, alone carries 300,000 barrels per day and lies near or crosses Seaforth, Westridge, Forest Grove, Lyndhurst, Stoney Creek, Capitol Hill, and Confederation Park Elementary Schools and is also near to Burnaby Mountain School.

In addition, oil tank farms and sub-stations circle Burnaby Mountain near or above Seaforth, Forest Grove, Lyndhurst and Stoney Creek Elementary Schools and Burnaby Mountain Secondary School. A new and larger oil pipeline has been proposed by Kinder Morgan that, if approved, will carry an additional 450,000 barrels of oil, including diluted bitumen. Bitumen is a viscous, black, sticky tar-like substance extracted from the Alberta tar sands.

To transport bitumen it must be put under great pressure, heated and diluted with volatile solvents like naptha and cancer causing chemicals such as benzene. No company is able to guarantee the safety of oil pipelines, terminals, tank farms or sub-stations and none have claimed to. There have, for example, been 79 leaks or spills on the Trans Mountain pipeline alone.

The Trans Mountain pipeline had a spill in 2007, involving thousands of litres of oil. 200 residents were affected in Westridge. Kinder Morgan had another spill in January 2012 near Sumas, BC. Transport Canada issued a report critical of Kinder Morgan for exacerbating the leak.

The pipeline not only crosses through Burnaby, but through many other BC cities, towns and municipalities. This is a shared concern across our province.