City to hold pipeline workshops

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The City of Burnaby has applied for intervenor status in the public hearings being conducted by the National Energy Board into Kinder Morgan’s application to increase the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline.

The proposed $5.4 billion expansion of the pipeline would triple the capacity of diluted bitumen traveling from the Alberta oilsands to the Westridge Marine Terminal in North Burnaby to 890,000 barrels per day from the 300,000 barrels that flow through the current pipeline. Kinder Morgan would also double the number of storage tanks at its Burnaby Mountain Terminal to 26 from 13 and build three new loading docks and a utility dock at Westridge.

Those numbers have Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan concerned.

“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,” said Corrigan.

“This is completely unacceptable and we will do everything we can to ensure this pipeline in not built,” Corrigan said.

In 2007 a rupture of the Trans Mountain Pipeline by a construction crew on Barnet Road drenched 44 neighbouring homes with crude oil, as well as leaked into Burrard Inlet and Kask Creek. Maps amid Kinder Morgan’s 15,000 page application show oil spills from the new pipeline route could flow through dense residential neighbourhoods, parks, schools, golf courses and even into Burnaby Lake, Deer Lake and the Fraser River.

“In spite of safety assurances from Kinder Morgan and Trans Mountain, in Burnaby we know what can and does really happen with pipelines,” said Corrigan.

To bolster the city’s case, it will be hosting workshops for residents and busineses about the proposed pipeline expansion.

On Sunday Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Kennedy Stewart will also be hosting the second of his meetings to inform people how they can participate in the NEB’s hearing process. It will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Confederation Community Centre. The first meeting, held almost two weeks ago, attracted about 400 participants.