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Burnaby indifferent to Kinder Morgan NEB threat 0

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver

Kinder Morgan's planned upgrades to the 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline include the reactivation of another pipe under Hinton and adding a new pumping station to the existing one west of town.

Kinder Morgan's planned upgrades to the 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain pipeline include the reactivation of another pipe under Hinton and adding a new pumping station to the existing one west of town.

The company behind the proposed twinning of the Kinder Morgan pipeline says because its relationship with the City of Burnaby is “non-existent” it will likely ask the National Energy Board for help gaining access to city property to study a new pipeline route.

Burnaby council doesn't seem to care though. 

The NEB has given the company until February to file additional information municipalities and the province alleged was missing from the company’s initial response to their concerns about the project.

With the response the company also said it intends to explore changing the route of the pipeline to one through Burnaby Mountain, a plan the city doesn’t like.

Burnaby won’t speak with the company, which means it cannot get permission to access city land to study the viability of the new route.

President of Kinder Morgan Canada Ian Anderson insisted the communication blackout is all on the part of the city and said he hopes they change their mind.

“My hope is that we can get the permission of the city and we can have them cooperate with us on this matter and not have to rely upon the National Energy Board,” Anderson said. “There’s no communication breakdown on my side, we’re very open to talk at any level with the city.”

That it is Burnaby causing the communication deadlock is just about the only thing city coun. Nick Volkow agrees with Anderson on.

“He’s got that right,” Volkow said.

According to Volkow as far as Burnaby council is concerned, the issue is a non-starter.

“We’re on record as a city in complete and total opposition to anything to do with this pipeline coming through our city,” Volkow said. “And the minute we sit down we just feel that we’re giving tacit approval.”

In 2007 a Kinder Morgan pipeline ruptured by an excavator spewed oil all over a Burnaby neighbourhood, but Volkow said the incident makes no difference on his opinion of the proposal.

He said he drove a diesel truck for 38 years and said he understands the importance of oil, but has reasons for opposing it that go beyond environmental concerns.

One of Volkow’s concerns is the diluted bitumen flowing through the pipes gives no added value to the Canadian economy.

“We just find stuff in the ground and ask what’s the quickest way we can send it out in its raw state,” Volkow said. “Hewers of wood, drawers of water.”

Anderson told reporters Friday he prefers to keep working with the city on the issue and reiterated his “hope” dialogue can begin.  

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