Residents and municipalities in Canada’s British Columbia are expected to oppose the expansion of a Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) pipeline on the grounds that allowing it will cause damage to sensitive ecosystems, adversely impact homeowners and harm public trails and parks. Starting Monday the NEB – National Energy Board, will hold hearings in north Surrey, Coquitlam and Burnaby.
One of the major opponents of the project by Kinder Morgan Canada is Burnaby and the municipality will be allowed three days to make presentations at the hearings. A statement has already been issued by the municipality saying that there are unacceptable and significant environmental, financial as well as social risks that the city will be exposed to if the pipeline passes through.
“Because of the damage and disruption it would cause to the city and Metro Vancouver’s environment, economy and neighbourhoods — in perpetuity — the City of Burnaby is determined to ensure that this route is never approved,” said the mayor of Burnaby, Derek Corrigan, in a statement.
The pipeline project which is 1,147 kilometers long was approved by the Canadian government in November 2016 with the size of the corridor stipulated to be 150 meters wide. A detailed approval process of the route will determine exactly where the pipeline will be placed. Hearings on the matter were started by the NEB in late November last year and so far some segments in Alberta and eastern British Columbia have been approved.
The existing pipeline has been transporting oil to a terminal in Burnaby from Edmonton since 1953. At the time there were fewer developments along the route compared to the case now. Currently the planned route cuts through roads and runs near buildings and residential areas.
With regards to Coquitlam, the city claims that the planned route will have a negative impact on operations of the municipality. According to an engineering report compiled two years ago, Coquitlam says that additional costs totaling more than $28 million will be incurred by the city in the next five decades in rehabilitation and maintenance works around and along the proposed pipeline. As a solution Coquitlam suggested that the proposed pipeline be rerouted away from municipal roads and highways and onto private property. Owners of private land have also raised their own concerns.