BC landowner "crushed" by NEB's stonewalling on Kinder Morgan expansion
"I was crushed when I left the NEB building," said Byron Smith, a Fort Langley farm owner along Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain expansion route. After visiting the regulators in Calgary, he said the NEB only handed him a letter informing him that his request for the Board to support independent studies was rejected, without further explanation.
Byron Smith, a fourth-generation farm owner from Fort Langley, was nervous but hopeful as he boarded the plane earlier this month to visit the National Energy Board in Calgary, Alberta.
He was headed to see the federal energy regulator because of lingering questions over the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which would bisect his family-owned farm if built.
Smith and seven other Fort Langley landowners had applied for an NEB program designed to partially cover costs associated with studies, travel and legal fees for participants of the Kinder Morgan pipeline hearings. Yet all eight landowners received the same rejection letter, which included no explanation why their application was turned down.
"I wanted to show that we're average, rational human beings who want to participate. We want to have our information, and we're not being addressed properly. There's been a lack of transparency from Kinder Morgan."
"The lower part of our property used for dairy cows. We don't operate the dairy -- it's operated by an adjacent property," he explained. "There are also organic orchards on the property -- as we develop this space we partner with others to grow produce."
Smith worries about the groundwater, which is used for drinking water as well as farming. The Salmon River also flows into the Fraser River, which has one of the largest sockeye salmon runs in the world.