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Burnaby slams Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal

The City of Burnaby has slammed Kinder Morgan for not providing “sufficient information to enable potential participants in the public hearing to determine how they would be impacted by the Project and how they could respond to the issues raised by the Project with their own evidence.” In a March 17, 2014 letter to Kinder Morgan about its Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Burnaby Council cites multiple examples of problems that make public scrutiny next to impossible:

  • there is insufficient information on the criteria used to determine the proposed route and route alternatives:
  • the proposal does not adequately address the potential conflicts between the proposed pipeline and existing infrastructure such as sewers, drinking water mains and stormwater pipes
  • the pipeline route cuts into environmentally sensitive areas and conservation lands, including Brunette River and Burrard Inlet conservation areas – there is insufficient information on the impacts nor are all local water courses accounted for concerns about the proximity of the pipeline to residents;  impacts on their health, property values and schools; the environmental impacts of the expansion of the Westridge Marine Terminal and Burnaby Mountain Terminal; and the impact on water quality, including groundwater
  • insufficient information on cumulative effects
  • the proposal focuses only on oil spill risks and oil spill scenarios but does not provide information on the very real possibility of other emergencies including, for example, criminal activities and
    earthquakes nor does it capture the extent of the effects of a potential spill on the public, the environment and the economy
  • the application does not provide any information on the capacity of Trans Mountain, or local fire departments, to respond to a fire at the Burnaby Mountain Terminal or other fires, for example, during loading at the Westridge Marine Terminal

The letter from Burnaby Council concludes by saying that “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.”