Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning near Jasper

Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning near Jasper

FVRD hears pipeline pros and cons

Local residents confront Kinder Morgan and the Fraser Valley Regional District on the pipeline twinning project.

Local residents received a chance to confront Kinder Morgan and the Fraser Valley Regional District regarding the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project Tuesday night.

Members of Pipe Up Network, Lynn Perrin and Michael Hale, were finally granted delegation seats at the FVRD board meeting, allowing them 10 minutes to present their concerns.

Perrin was previously refused a delegation seat, on the grounds that an agreement with Kinder Morgan to survey the Cheam Lake Wetlands had already been signed.

Kinder Morgan is currently studying the wetlands to determine the path of the pipeline twinning. The company has several routing alternatives for the area, including diverting the line through the south side of highway.

“We have a couple of options there. We haven’t landed on a decision, we’re working through that,” said Kinder Morgan representative Greg Toth, who received 20 minutes to speak about the project at Tuesday’s meeting.

The ecologically sensitive wetlands are of special concern to the Fraser Valley. Bitumen from a spill may sink, complicating cleanup.

“Can we risk a spill in the Cheam Lakes Wetlands? The natural values and ecosystem services provided by these wetlands are unique in this part of the Lower Mainland,” said Hale.

There hasn’t been a serious spill in the area since the laying of the pipeline, according to Bill Dickey, FVRD director for the area.

“People in our community have seen the pipeline in place for 60 years…and we’ve had really no incidents to speak of there. But we were under the assumption that any expansion would be contained within the existing right of way,” he said.

Since the original pipeline was built, the region has experienced major physical changes, including the construction of the Coquihalla highway. This warrants a re-evaluation of the route, explained Toth.

Elsewhere in the Fraser Valley, the routing of the expanded pipeline mostly follows the existing line.

The risks and consequences of a spill were fresh on the mind of Abbotsford city councillor and FVRD director Bill MacGregor, who brought up Kinder Morgan’s 110,000-litre spill on Sumas Mountain on Jan. 24, 2012. At that time, the company had said that the spill was entirely contained, while residents complained of headaches and other health side effects.

“In the Sumas Mountain area where I reside, we’ve already had a couple of alarming incidents up on the mountain in the past few years with Kinder Morgan, and their track record is not that good,” he said.

MacGregor remained opposed to the twinning, and supported Pipe Up’s recommendation for FVRD to evaluate the project.

“I think we’re in for a war,” he said.

At the meeting, Kinder Morgan maintained that its monitoring and response technology is top-of-the-line. This includes such measures as corrosion control through pipeline coating, remote sensors to detect cracks and temperature, a 24-hour control centre in Edmonton, a database on natural hazards such as stream crossings, and regular physical inspections and patrols.

“Pipeline safety is embedded within our integrity management program,” said Toth. “The diagnostics on the pipeline are of a very high level.”

A National Energy Board investigation of the company’s 2012 spill on Sumas Mountain found that Kinder Morgan failed to follow proper procedures. An operator ignored several alarms before responding, causing a four-hour delay in detection.

Pipe Up members also argued that the twinning of the pipeline will not economically benefit British Columbians.

“Studies show that there is no net economic benefit for British Columbians, and that there are alternatives. Alternatives such as renewable energy and electric transportation would produce more economic benefit, more jobs, and would potentially position BC as a world leader in making the transition from finite and increasingly dirty fossil fuels,” said Hale.

Toth responded that municipalities on the route benefit from tax income and new jobs.

This was the first board meeting at which FVRD allowed significant time to members of the public to present their concerns about the twinning of the pipeline. The district has not taken initiative to assess the risks of the project.

“We are very much at the preliminary stages. We are not currently undertaking any studies,” said an FVRD staff member. “We still don’t know what the routing for the pipeline will be.”

Pipe Up wants to see FVRD create an independent committee to assess the risk of sending more bitumen through the Cheam Lake Wetlands, as well as consult with the public on the matter.

Kinder Morgan has submitted a project description to the NEB last week, signaling their intent to file an application in late 2013.

akonevski@theprogress.com
twitter.com/alinakonevski

Just Posted

Harrison Hot Springs country singer Todd Richard poses for a photo with Mission firefighters. (Photo/Sarah Plawutski)
VIDEO: Harrison country artist Todd Richard plans for a busy, rockin’ summer

Richard and his band look to live shows as restrictions start to lift

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

(Black Press Media files)
Burnaby RCMP look for witnesses in hit-and-run that left motorcyclist dead

Investigators believe that the suspect vehicle rear-ended the motorcycle before fleeing the scene

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

(file)
Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read