City of Burnaby Challenges Legality of TransMountain (Kinder Morgan) Application

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March 17, 2014

For Immediate Release

Burnaby Advises National Energy Board that Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project Application is Incomplete and does not meet Legal Requirements for Hearing and Public Evaluation

Today, the City of Burnaby formally requested that the National Energy Board find that the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project Application is incomplete and reject it on the basis that it contains neither the information needed for the NEB to make an informed decision nor sufficient information for the public to understand and analyze the impacts of the Project and does not comply with NEB rules.

“We are extremely concerned about multiple aspects of this proposal that we know will have very negative impacts on our City,” says Mayor Derek Corrigan. “This concern is compounded by the fact that Kinder Morgan’s application is incomplete, which makes it impossible to know the extent of the impacts the pipeline would have on our City. Their application does not meet the requirements set out by the National Energy Board for such an application.”

To express the City’s concern about the incompleteness of Kinder Morgan’s application, the City of Burnaby’s legal counsel submitted a letter to the National Energy Board detailing the multiple shortcomings of Kinder Morgan’s application and their potential negative impact on the ability of the citizens of Burnaby to fairly and appropriately participate in the hearing process.

The NEB requires, for example, that Kinder Morgan describe plans and measures to address potential effects of accidents and malfunctions during the operation of the proposed facilities, but Kinder Morgan has not done so. Kinder Morgan states that they do not have the resources to respond to all emergencies, but they do not provide required information on how such emergencies could be addressed.

“They seem to assume that the city will be able to manage these emergencies,” says Mayor Corrigan. “In fact, however, the city has neither the capacity to nor information on how to respond to such emergencies for these new facilities. Kinder Morgan is proposing to almost triple – to 890,000 barrels per day – the amount of oil coming into our city. That’s enough oil each day to fill 56 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

“Then they propose to bring five times as many tankers into Burrard Inlet to load that oil for export from Burnaby, and to triple the storage-tank capacity on Burnaby Mountain to 5.6 million barrels and increase the number of storage tanks from 13 to 26, all stored on a hill below Simon Fraser University – in the heart of our populated city — and near streams and drainage systems that flow into Burnaby Lake and beyond. They’re telling our citizens that they have operated the pipeline safely for 60 years, in spite of the fact that there has been more than one spill in Burnaby — the most recent of which, in 2007, devastated a Burnaby neighbourhood and damaged Burrard Inlet habitat with a mere 1,500 barrels of oil. We do not ever want to have to deal with the consequences of the kind of spill this new pipeline and the new storage tanks could cause.”

In addition, the Application proposes two possible new routes through Burnaby, and Burnaby has advised the Board there is insufficient detail in each route to allow for any proper analysis of the disruptions and potential threats to Burnaby. “Contrary to what Kinder Morgan has told the public, more than 90% of the pipeline route proposed for Burnaby is new, and does not follow the existing right of way. If Kinder, Morgan doesn’t know yet where it is going, and hasn’t done the necessary studies, it is simply too soon to go to the NEB, and unfair to Burnaby’s citizens to require us to guess,” says the Mayor.

The letter to the NEB lists Kinder Morgan’s application shortcomings in the areas of: Proposed Route; Infrastructure Conflicts; Environment Effects; Valued Components; Safety and Security; Plans to Address Accidents and Malfunctions; and Consultation. It also makes clear that Kinder Morgan’s application does not meet the requirements of the National Energy Board’s Filing Manual: “It is the responsibility of Trans Mountain to provide the NEB and the public with the information that they need to evaluate and respond to the Project. The burden should not be placed on potential participants in the hearing to go through multiple information requests to supplement the information provided in the application. In light of the deficiencies in information in the application, we submit that the NEB should consider the application to be incomplete.”

The result of a ruling that the application is incomplete may require the NEB to return the application to Kinder Morgan for amendment and possible resubmission, and would delay the process and any hearings until those amendments were made.

To offer residents and businesses information about the proposed expansion, community meetings are being planned by the City of Burnaby.

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 five 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, on February 4, 2014, the City of Burnaby formally applied for Intervener Status in the Hearings that are part of the NEB Public Hearing process.


For additional information, contact:
Office of the Mayor
604 294-7340