Langley Township opts in to pipeline hearing process

Decision to participate in NEB review could cost as much as $100,000, report estimates

Kim Richter

A decision to participate in National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline drew applause Monday afternoon, when Langley Township council voted to seek intervenor status.

The reaction came from a small group of local residents on hand for the vote, who have been lobbying the Township to participate.

The decision came just days before the deadline for intervenor applications, noon on Feb. 12.

Intervenors, if accepted by the NEB, can file written evidence and ask the applicant questions about the proposal to twin the pipeline that carries Alberta oil through Langley to local and foreign refineries.

The Metro Vancouver regional district, which represents Lower Mainland municipalities, is also applying for intervenor status.

Councillor Kim Richter, who has been pressing Township council to participate for weeks, also wanted to hold a “public input opportunity” to get feedback from residents about the pipeline to help prepare the Township presentation.

“Let’s go back and touch base with the public to make sure we’ve caught everything,” Richter said.

Mayor Jack Froese said that would raise “unfair expectations” among residents when the Township has no direct power over the pipeline.

The Richter proposal was defeated 6-3.

A staff report to council puts the price of participating in the NEB hearings at up to $100,000.

It estimates it will cost between $60,000 and $80,000 to prepare documents, send representatives to the hearings and report on the results, plus another $10,000 to $20,000 to hire legal counsel and expert witnesses, if needed.

About 10 to 20 per cent could be trimmed from that amount by sharing work with other Lower Mainland municipalities, the report suggests.

Councillor Bev Dornan hopes that is possible.

“Cost are an issue,” Dornan said.

The $5.4-billion Kinder Morgan project would nearly triple the capacity of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline to 890,000 barrels per day.

That would mean a seven-fold increase in shipments through Burrard Inlet to about 400 oil tankers a year.

The second pipeline would largely follow the right-of-way for the existing one in much of the Fraser Valley, but in Langley it will be be routed away from the original pipeline, which goes through heavily built-up areas in Walnut Grove.

Kinder Morgan wants to route it along the CN railway right-of-way, but the exact route between the existing route and the rail line has not yet been settled on. Several possible routes are still being investigated.

If the company wins approval from the NEB, construction would take place over 2016 and 2017.

An Insights West online poll released last month found 48 per cent of B.C. residents support the Trans Mountain pipeline twinning, 43 per cent oppose it and 11 per cent are undecided.

— with files from Jeff Nagel

Just Posted

VIDEO: Scouts in Langley learn how to communicate during emergencies

Weekend event at Camp McLean part of worldwide Jamboree On The Air and Jamboree On The Internet

ELECTION 18: Langley Township, you chose Jack Froese for mayor

Township voters went with a familiar face, handing incumbent a third term as mayor

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Who won and who didn’t in the Lower Mainland votes

A look at the region’s mayoral races, starting with Doug McCallum coming back to win in Surrey

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Three strong earthquakes reported off Vancouver Island

The quakes, all measuring more than 6.0 on the richter scale, were about 260 kilometres west of Tofino

Voting set to start in B.C. proportional representation referendum

Two-part ballots now being mailed to all registered voters

Fraser Valley man dead after head on crash in Okanagan

Accident occurred at about 7:35 a.m.

B.C. oncologist changing the face of breast cancer treatment

Dr. Juanita Crook, a Kelowna oncologist, has seen 100 per cent success using brachytherapy to treat breast cancer in some patients.

Newly-elected Lower Mainland mayor won’t drink his city’s tap water

White Rock’s Darryl Walker is concerned about its quality

Kennedy Stewart challenged with building bridges as mayor of Vancouver: expert

The former NDP MP, who ran as an Independent, will lead 10 councillors divided across four parties

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Most Read