On April 24th, the City Council of Burnaby, British Columbia, heard a report to council regarding the proposed Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project, which the report anticipates would have significant impacts on the Brunette River watershed.
In November, 2016, the Federal Governor in Council granted approval for the Kinder Morgan pipeline. The Governor directed the National Energy Board (NEB) to issue a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity with conditions for the pipeline project. The project would include:
- 980 km new pipeline
- 193 km reactivated pipeline
- 12 new pump stations
- 19 new storage tanks to existing terminals
- 13 new tanks plus 1 replacement tank in Burnaby
- Expansion of 3 new tanker berths at Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby
The report detailed to council that based on its submission to the NEB, Kinder Morgan would use a trenchless technology to place a 914 millimetre diameter pipeline through the Brunette Conservation Area. The pipeline would require that the area in its vicinity to be permanently free of trees and shrubs for purposes of inspection. The proposed placement of the pipeline is of concern to council as it would bisect the conservation area and would pose obstacles to timely response to a rupture or spill from the pipeline. Such as spill would have a major impact on both the Brunette and Fraser rivers, council heard.
Council also expressed concerned over other impacts from the pipeline, including a decrease in public space, diminished natural spaces, and threats to other water systems in the region. The report recommended that Council authorize staff to file Statements of Opposition with the NEB regarding the proposed pipeline route.
At present, the City of Burnaby remains opposed to the project and is challenging the decision of the Federal Governor in Council in federal court.
“We have asked the federal government to suspend these hearings before they start, because these hearings do not allow for meaningful public participation; they do not consider the devastating upstream and downstream impacts of Kinder Morgan’s industry-driven proposal,” said Burnaby Mayor, Derek Corrigan, in a January statement. “They are happening in the absence of any national energy strategy, and they do not allow for the environmental and social reviews that the new federal government has agreed are critical and that they have committed to immediately introduce.”
More information can be found on Burnaby’s website.