City submits nearly 600 questions to Kinder Morgan as deadline approaches
“If there is any hope of the NEB making a decision that truly reflects the public interest of Canadians then all the facts must be on the table,” says Deputy City Manager.
The National Energy Board (NEB) decided on Thursday that Kinder Morgan will not be required to produce further documents regarding the Emergency Management Program (EMP) for the TransMountain pipeline, according to the Ministry of Environment.
A city of Vancouver press release said the city submitted nearly 600 additional questions to Kinder Morgan as part of the second and final round deadline of information requests held by the NEB, with a focus on its emergency management procedures.
“While the 597 questions cover a broad range of issues including discrepancies between estimated levels of job creation, climate change, and risks to human health,” the release stated, “the majority of the questions focus on Kinder Morgan’s emergency management.”
The Province of British Columbia put forth a motion inquiring about the complete Emergency Management Program (EMP) documents. The motion was denied on the basis that "sufficient information" had already been filed from the existing documents, the Ministry of Environment said in an e-mail.
"Kinder Morgan has committed to engage with the Province in full and complete consultations about the Emergency Management Program for the Trans Mountain Expansion project, as part of a larger consultation effort to support the development of those plans," according the Ministry of Environment.
The City asked Kinder Morgan about the current emergency and spill response plan, how the company has approached the risk assessments for the management of the pipeline, and the potential human health and marine risks.
“If there is any hope of the NEB making a decision that truly reflects the public interest of Canadians then all the facts must be on the table,” Deputy City Manager Sadhu Johnston said. “Since the NEB has chosen to exclude oral cross-examination and is instead relying on written questions and answers, it’s imperative that Kinder Morgan answer the questions posed by the City and other intervenors in a full, open and transparent way.”
As part of the first round of information requests, the city submitted 394 questions. Texas-based Kinder Morgan failed to answer 150 of these.
But Kinder Morgan, meanwhile, says that it welcomes more questions about its proposed pipeline expansion.
"We welcome the questions from the City of Vancouver," said Kinder Morgan's VP Regulatory and Finance Scott Stoness in an e-mail. "Kinder Morgan is committed to a transparent and full process as has been defined by the NEB. Trans Mountain will answer all questions that fall within the scope of NEB hearing."
"The questions cover a variety of subjects including marine operations, environment, engineering, finance, job creation, project viability, and emergency and spill response and many of the questions are very detailed and involved," he said about types of questions submitted.
The existing Kinder Morgan pipeline runs 1,150 km and transports both conventional crude and diluted oil sands bitumen from Edmonton, Alberta to the Westbridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, BC. The expanded Trans Mountain pipeline will see three times more oil transported (from the current 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day) from Northern Alberta to BC's Lower Mainland.