Panel discussion will look at Kinder Morgan route in Langley

Discussion on Thursday will discuss plans for new pipeline in environmentally-sensitive area near Fort Langley.

A panel discussion on a proposed new pipeline route through an environmentally-sensitive area near Fort Langley takes place Thursday evening.

The panel has been organized by resident Byron Smith, whose land just west of Fort Langley is proposed as part of the twinned Kinder Morgan oil pipeline route. While the existing pipeline passes south of Fort Langley, the company is proposing a new line that will divert away from the existing right-of-way in urban areas, such as Walnut Grove to the west.

Kinder Morgan plans to connect its existing route to its new route in Langley. Smith has been approached to allow the company a right of way through his property. The pipeline would also cross the Salmon River in that area.

The panel discussion will feature Burnaby NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who opposes the twinning project; Eion Madden of Western Canada Wilderness Committee and Liz McDowell of Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED).

People interested in finding out more about the project and its implications are welcome to attend. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road.

“Community conversations like the one that is taking place in Langley are vital if we are to make an informed decision on Kinder Morgan’s bitumen pipeline proposal,” said Eoin Madden, the Wilderness Committee’s climate change campaigner. “Most folks I speak to want a safe, clean energy future for their families. I believe this pipeline takes us in the wrong direction.”

“As a third generation Langley resident and a new father, I worry about what might become of our farm and surrounding sensitive farmland should there ever be a spill,” said Smith. “I know we live in an economy fuelled by fossil energies. I am concerned, however, that this bitumen pipeline may not be in the best interest of all B.C. residents — economically, socially and environmentally.”

The Wilderness Committee says regional information sessions held by Kinder Morgan have failed to provide the public with important details on routing options, environmental impacts, and economic costs that the proposed pipeline represents for local communities. Additionally, the National Energy Board announced last week that they were cancelling public information sessions across the Lower Mainland on the regulatory process that will be applied to the proposal. Instead, it has chosen to only provide web-based information.