Route for Westridge will be a Kinder surprise

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It’s still not clear which route in the north of the city Kinder Morgan would prefer for its pipeline expansion, but the public will eventually be informed, according to the company’s president.

Meanwhile, the deadline to apply as a participant in the hearing has passed, although the National Energy Board may consider an extension.

Kinder Morgan has put forward a proposed pipeline route and an alternate option for the Westridge area, which overlooks the marine terminal, where tankers fill up with crude. The square-shaped neighbourhood is boxed in by the two pipeline options, while the existing line runs down the middle. The company’s “preferred” western route comes down the west side of Cliff Avenue, by the Drummond’s Walk urban trail and the Burrard Inlet Conservation Area. The alternate eastern option comes down behind Ridgeview Drive and Pandora Drive on the western edge of Burnaby Mountain. Both routing options meet in the middle at the Westridge Marine Terminal. The neighbourhood was also the site of the 2007 pipeline rupture, which sprayed oil in the air, coating local homes with crude.

The NOW contacted several residents on the western and eastern edges of the area, inquiring whether Kinder Morgan had informed them of where the pipeline would go.

While many seemed confused or unaware, some residents on the western side seemed to have been contacted, while those on the east (on Pandora and Ridgeview) said they received no notification about the pipeline. The NOW asked the Trans Mountain media team, three times, which route in the north the company now prefers, but we did not receive a specific answer.

Art Hilstad lives on Northcliffe Crescent, close to the Burrard Inlet, and he has concerns the western route would come across his property.

“That’s the way it looks on any map that I’ve seen. It goes right across our backyard,” he said. However, the company has not entered into any kind of land agreement to use his property.

The NOW also talked to another Northcliffe resident (who wanted to remain anonymous because he’s trying to sell his home) who said some neighbours are considering a class action suit.

As previously reported in the NOW, Kinder Morgan now prefers the alternate route in the south, which runs along the CN rail line, instead of the route proposed in the company’s application to the National Energy Board, which comes down Lougheed Highway.

The NOW also learned that company representatives recently walked along the CN railway route, with members from the Stoney Creek Environment Committee and the Sapperton Fish and Game Club, as well as representative from Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

In a Feb. 11 letter to the editor, Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson said people will know where the pipeline is going to go.

“But it is a process that takes time and one that must take into consideration the interests of people, safety and the environment,” he wrote. “If you have not been contacted by us, you are not in either corridor. If that changes, you will hear directly from us.”

Anderson also indicated that there are four Burnaby homes that are in the selected study corridor, and those landowners have been notified. The homes are somewhere between the tank farm on Burnaby Mountain and the Westridge Marine Terminal.