Thursday, February 13, 2014

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline

As you are likely aware, Kinder Morgan is looking at twinning their Trans Mountain pipeline which cuts through Metro Vancouver. It is the only oil-product pipeline that connects Northern Alberta to the West Coast.

The current corridor and proposed expansion cuts through Langley and Surrey. Because the expansion of the pipeline will cause impacts in the South of Fraser, Surrey is seeking intervener status at National Energy Board hearing on the pipeline and the Township of Langley is considering seeking intervener status.

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline through Surrey. Click map to enlarge

Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline and proposed new alignment through Langley. Click map to enlarge

The current pipeline and proposed expansion will cut through one of the Township of Langley’s highest populated areas, Walnut Grove. The current pipeline and proposed expansion also cross six different aquifer, several of which provide drinking water in the Township. The pipeline also intersects with 26 public roads and bridges. Having the oil pipeline running underneath these roads and bridges will drive up maintenance cost and increase the risk of an oil spill.

The Township and its residents take on the risk of this proposed expansion, but see no direct benefit. Township staff complied the following list of preliminary issues due to the proposed expansion. You can read the full staff report in the February 3rd Council Afternoon Meeting Agenda.

  1. Disruption during construction to residents and businesses.
  2. Business losses incurred during construction.
  3. Contamination of groundwater used for water supply and farming purposes.
  4. Potential for spreading of Invasive Species during construction.
  5. Destination of excavated materials for pipelines constructed in flood plain.
  6. Emergency response time in floodplain during winter months for a spill.
  7. Loss of significant trees where new pipeline is proposed to go through existing forested areas.
  8. Loss of potential to plant trees over pipeline where route extends through new and existing park areas.
  9. Future permitting restrictions and loss of potential to use new corridor through park areas.
  10. Environmental impacts to watercourse crossings and loss of surface vegetation to facilitate future monitoring of pipeline.
  11. No identifiable immediate benefit to the Township of Langley resulting from project.
  12. Impact on existing Township lands and roads for staging of construction activities.
  13. Environmental impacts to existing designated municipal natural park areas that are expected to be protected as is.
  14. Disruption to existing users and tenants of municipal lands with resulting loss of revenue and ongoing customer base.
  15. Future upgrades to roads and underground infrastructure will be more challenging with increased costs and potential for delays where crossing the new pipeline.
  16. Public communication during the anticipated construction window.
  17. Ability to impose municipal bylaws and policies on this project.
  18. Ability to recover costs associated with relocating Township infrastructure (i.e. water mains) by Township crews.
  19. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) agreement with National Energy Board transferring oversight for fish and fish habitat for this project.
  20. Insurance coverage and liability issues.


Anonymous said...

this might be a stupid question but if KM pipeline runs thru a municipality doesn't that municipality or land owner (if on private property) effectively lease KM the rights to their land use? If yes, then ToL should have an economic benefit from any pipeline. If no, then why not?

Nathan Pachal said...

This is likely a utility easement just like BC Hydro or a natural gas company. There is no entitlement to money from the utility to the landowner.