Environmental advocacy organizations are holding an information session in Abbotsford on Wednesday about the National Energy Board (NEB) review of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal.
The Abbotsford session is part of a series – the others are in Chilliwack, Langley, and Maple Ridge – organized by ForestEthics Advocacy and the Pipe Up Network.
Kinder Morgan is proposing to build a new export pipeline to carry diluted bitumen to offshore markets. The proposal is to ship an additional 590,000 barrels of bitumen per day through B.C., a near tripling of current shipping capacity.
The NEB is currently reviewing Kinder Morgan's application.
People and groups who are affected by the Kinder Morgan pipeline have the option to apply for intervenor status with or make a written comment to the NEB during the review. Applications are due by Feb. 12, 2014.
The info sessions are meant to guide residents through the complicated application process.
"We hope this will fill a need for residents who will be affected by Kinder Morgan's proposal," said session organizer Sven Biggs of ForestEthics Advocacy in a release. "It is a whole new ballgame since the federal government changed the rules in 2012 with omnibus budget bill C-45. We are concerned that the NEB has not provided public in-person information sessions about the new review process. We want to try to fill that gap."
In a press release, Mission resident Mike Gildersleeve said that residents north of the Fraser River "feel just as affected as those nearer the pipeline."
"Should there be an oil spill into the Fraser River or one of its tributaries, it would affect local economies. Residents want to have a say, yet many of those who have participated in NEB information sessions online have found it confusing. We hope to try to demystify the process."
The Abbotsford session will be held at the University of the Fraser Valley (Room B133, 33844 King Road) on Feb. 5 at 7–9:00 p.m.