Kinder Morgan Wants Access to Conservation Lands on Burnaby Mountain

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Kinder Morgan has gone to the National Energy Board in hopes of surveying Burnaby Mountain for its latest route for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, something the city is opposing.

On Friday, July 25, Kinder Morgan’s lawyer wrote the National Energy Board, arguing why the company should be allowed to survey Burnaby Mountain, citing the National Energy Board Act. Also on July 25, Kinder Morgan formally applied to the City of Burnaby to survey the land with full expectation of rejection, citing a NOW article where Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said the request would be denied. The mountain area in question is a city-owned conservation area, and Corrigan has already vowed not to let the company have access. Kinder Morgan wants to tunnel or drill through it to connect a new pipeline from the tank farm to the Westridge Marine Terminal. The company needs to drill two boreholes on the mountain and one just off of North Road as part of the initial work to see if the new route is feasible. The company also wants to install a helicopter-landing pad on the mountain to bring in the drill rig.

NEB spokesperson Sarah Kiley said the City of Burnaby has until Friday to comment on Trans Mountain’s position.

“We’re going to hear from everybody, then we’ll make a ruling on our letter from Trans Mountain,” she told the NOW.

Kiley explained that Kinder Morgan has not actually asked the NEB to grant access to the mountain; the company is arguing it already has the right, according to the act.

“The company could have asked for an order (for access), but they didn’t. All they asked for is confirmation in their right to access the land,” she added, after talking with her lawyer.

Kiley said the NEB has dealt with similar situations before.

“It’s not super common, but we have had them,” she said. “The board has granted orders like this in the past.”

The NOW reached Corrigan for comment, but he hadn’t seen the letter or the application, as he was also on vacation.

“They’ll be given the due process. The choice will be made whether staff agree or disagree,” Corrigan said. “I anticipate they won’t agree with it.”

Corrigan also said the city will respond to the NEB.

“I imagine we will comment to them, … that we will make a response,” he said. “It’s difficult time of the year. Council is off for the bigger part of August. … I’m going to have to try to deal with it while I’m away.”

Kinder Morgan switched its route preference to Burnaby Mountain in April. On July 15, the National Energy Board extended the hearing by seven months so the company could conduct additional studies and provide more information on the new route.

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