Byron Smith

Judicial review requested of National Energy Board denial of funding to Fort Langley residents

Participant funding is available to those affected by pipeline plans, but was denied by the NEB with no explanation offered.

  • Jun. 12, 2014 4:00 p.m.

Residents of the Fort Langley flood plain area near the Salmon River filed a request for a judicial review on Tuesday, asking why they have been unable to obtain participant funding to take part in hearings on the Kinder Morgan pipeline twinning application, now before the National Energy Board.

While Kinder Morgan recently announced it would prefer to build the new pipeline on the hillside above the Salmon River flood plain, and through the Redwoods Golf Course, it has not removed the Salmon River flood plain area from its route maps.

Those maps show the bitumen pipeline being routed through privately-owned land in the flood plain area.

Residents from the affected areas sought support from the NEB by applying for the participant funding program, but were denied without an explanation. Residents are filing for judicial review to obtain answers as to why their community, health and environmental concerns are not worthy of support.

The NEB’s responsibility is to promote safety and security, environmental protection and efficient energy infrastructure and markets in the Canadian public interest. The participant funding program  was created to provide financial assistance to those affected by the proposed pipeline. The funding is meant to partially cover costs associated with independent studies, legal fees, travel and other expenses incurred from participating in the hearing concerning Kinder Morgan’s pipeline twinning project.

“Kinder Morgan failed to provide us with critical details on routing options, environmental impacts and economic costs that would enable us to make informed, unbiased decisions about the pipeline. Hearing Order OH-1-2014 only provides us with two opportunities to ask questions about the pipeline so we wanted to be well-versed with these details. Knowing that the NEB carries out its mandate in the public interest, we applied for the participant funding program  so that our community can commission independent studies on how the pipeline will impact our lives,” said resident Byron Smith.

Despite residents following the correct steps and procedures for the application, the NEB denied them funding. When Smith travelled to Calgary to request an explanation from the NEB representative in Calgary who was overseeing the application, he was stonewalled.

“We are feeling frustrated and neglected as we seek answers within these rigid timelines, without any assistance. It is devastating. I hope that my fellow British Columbians who are feeling the same kind of pressure and lack of support will voice their concerns to local and federal governments so that, together, we can work towards making the best decision for our families, health and environment that goes beyond the pipeline’s alleged economic benefits,” he said.

Just Posted

First-time Langley mayor’s gala raises $856,000

Final numbers are in for last month’s gala – $856,000 raised, $600,000 of which goes to hospital.

Langley ‘Gala’ helps fund ER expansion

Langley Mayor’s Gala raises $600,000 for Langley Memorial Hospital expansion

Young Giants make Worlds

Two forwards from the Langley-based WHL team were picked today to represent Canada.

Where to find Langley election results

Times reports as ballots are tallied Saturday

Langley Rams look for repeat victory Saturday, heading into semifinals

Finishing second in the regular season, Langley hosts its first playoff game in four years.

Legal pot price must be ‘competitive’ with black market: Blair

Bill Blair shared final words on journey to legalization ahead of official day Wednesday

Boeser tallies in OT as Canucks beat Penguins 3-2

Vancouver wins without star rookie Pettersson

Mayor of Kamloops says ‘history has been made’ with vote on B.C.’s lone pot shop

The store to be run by the province in B.C.’s Interior is opening Wednesday as pot sales become legal across Canada

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

U.S. pot firm urges Trump to deny Canadian producers ‘competitive advantage’

The challenge for U.S. firms lies in the fact that while recreational cannabis is legal in nine states and medicinal pot in 22 others, it remains illegal under federal law

Government says imprisoned Canadian terror suspects must face consequences

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale showed little sympathy Tuesday for such individuals who now want to return to Canada

How rules for inmate segregation in Canada will change under Bill C-83

Federal government proposing changes to rules around inmates in federal correctional institutions

Canada Post union issues strike notice; rotating strikes could begin Monday

Union says rotating strikes will begin if agreements aren’t reached with bargaining units

Most Read