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Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion application incomplete and unfit for hearings: Burnaby mayor

Photo of Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan from Wikimedia Commons

The City of Burnaby made a formal request to the National Energy Board to reject Texas-based oil giant Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project application on the basis that it is incomplete, and doesn't contain enough information for either the Board or the public to make an informed decision. 

We are extremely concerned about multiple aspects of this proposal that we know will have very negative impacts on our City,” Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan said in a news release.

“This concern is compounded by the fact that Kinder Morgan’s application is incomplete, which makes it impossible to know the extent of the impacts the pipeline would have on our City.”

The City of Burnaby’s legal counsel submitted a letter to the National Energy Board explaining the shortcomings of Kinder Morgan’s application. Even though Kinder Morgan is required to describe plans and measures to address potential effects of accidents and malfunctions during the operation of the proposed pipeline facilities, the company hasn't included this in the application, the letter states. 

They (Kinder Morgan) seem to assume that the city will be able to manage these emergencies,” Corrigan said. “In fact, however, the city has neither the capacity to nor information on how to respond to such emergencies for these new facilities." 

Corrigan took issue with the fact that the pipeline would bring "five times as many tankers to Burrard Inlet" for export, and that the storage-tank capacity on Burnaby Mountain (on a hill below Simon Fraser University) would be tripled to 5.6 million barrels of oil.

"We do not ever want to have to deal with the consequences of the kind of spill this new pipeline and the new storage tanks could cause,” he said. 

He also disputed Kinder Morgan's assertion that the plan was merely proposing to 'twin' the existing pipeline through Burnaby, noting that "more than 90 per cent" of the two pipeline routes proposed for Burnaby are new, and do not follow the existing right of way.

Stoney Creek Elementary School in Burnaby located close to the existing oil pipeline. 

“If Kinder Morgan doesn’t know yet where it is going, and hasn’t done the necessary studies, it is simply too soon to go to the NEB, and unfair to Burnaby’s citizens to require us to guess,” he said. 

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