Kinder Morgan to hold route hearings with Hope landowners

Nestle Waters and a private landowner object to the route

As the B.C. and Alberta governments trade blows over wine boycotts and bitumen, Kinder Morgan inches through the approval process for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

Detailed route hearings with affected landowners are on the horizon, notices have already been sent out to landowners along the proposed route to give them the chance to oppose the route. Two landowners in Hope, whose letters of opposition were approved by the National Energy Board, are concerned about how the pipeline will affect the pristine waters of Hope Springs, as well as fair compensation and communication from Kinder Morgan.

The strongest opposition comes from Nestle Waters, who are concerned about how close the pipeline route is to their operations. The letter from Nestle states the pipeline will be within 20 metres of the point where Nestle accesses the Hope Springs aquifer.

“Construction activities along the proposed detailed route are expected to cause unnecessary and potentially harmful disturbances to the physical expression of the Hope Springs, and could contaminate the high quality and highly-permeable groundwater aquifer and surface Nestle stewards and relies upon for its operation,” wrote Bruce Lauerman, natural resources manager for Nestle Canada.

Lauerman suggested a geographical buffer between the pipeline and the aquifer, spring and surface water of Hope Springs could mitigate some risks.

Nestle’s commercial operations may be affected, Lauerman added, noting Nestle bottles 300 million litres of water and employs 75 people at the Hope plant.

Landowner Eleonora Anderson wrote she is not opposed to the pipeline project, however she was insulted by the $20,000 compensation offered by Kinder Morgan for her cooperation as a landowner. In addition, she wrote the follow up by the company on her concerns has been inadequate.

“I have concerns about the lack of clarity and lack of information I have experienced in my dealings with Kinder Morgan to date, and the lack of follow up,” she wrote.

She referred to several features on her land, natural and built, that Kinder Morgan has not been clear on how they will deal with these once the building is underway. These include whether the company would conduct blasting to clear boulders, how buildings on the property would be affected, how trees and vegetation on her property would be dealt with.

Anderson’s property at 59850 Hunter Creek Rd. is undergoing a sale to Sean Morriss, who has plans to construct an “institute for research of medical cannabis.”

Both Nestle and Eleonora Anderson wrote they are willing to work with Kinder Morgan and the National Energy Board to resolve their objections.

Hearings for segment five will take place in late April to early May in Merritt and Kamloops, a public notice by the NEB stated. Anyone can apply to be a commenter or intervenor in the upcoming route hearings for individual landowners, they must do so online by Feb. 23.

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Kinder Morgan is holding detailed route hearings for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project; landowners in the Hope area have filed letters of opposition to the route. National Energy Board map

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