Kinder Morgan's Sumas Mountain pump station.

Kinder Morgan's Sumas Mountain pump station.

Regional district requests accountability from Kinder Morgan

FVRD is sending an extensive list of questions to the company on its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The Fraser Valley Regional District has prepared a long list of questions for Kinder Morgan to answer about the company’s planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

This is the biggest step the district has taken so far in demanding accountability from the company on its $5.4-billion proposal to twin the existing oil line. Thirty kilometres of the line cuts through Abbotsford, 25 km through Chilliwack, 17 km through Hope, and 74 km throughout the electoral areas. Although the FVRD has no regulatory authority over pipelines, it does have a policy that requires pipeline operators in its territory to address concerns about ongoing projects.

The seven-page list of 64 questions considers the project’s impacts on the economy, agriculture, environment, and recreation of the Fraser Valley. How will the company minimize disruption from construction on residents and businesses? Will farmers be compensated for related productivity losses? How will Kinder Morgan prevent contamination of water sources in case of spills? How will it protect sensitive species and areas such as the Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park?

“The intent of staff bringing this forward is to frame a discussion for when Kinder Morgan comes. This is really just a starting point,” FVRD chair Sharon Gaetz said at the Nov. 26 board meeting.

Local anti-pipeline group Pipe Up Network has previously criticized FVRD for being slow to react on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Member Lynn Perrin was pleased to hear these questions will be submitted and offered Pipe Up’s research assistance.

“Lots of great questions in that report for sure…Does the FVRD know that the best way to have questions answered is to be interveners?” said Perrin.

Obtaining intervener status with the National Energy Board on the project, according to Perrin, would compel Kinder Morgan to address FVRD’s concerns.

FVRD co-chair and Abbotsford city councillor Patricia Ross admitted that with recent changes to NEB rules, it has become “very, very difficult for the average person to participate, unfortunately.” She later told the Abbotsford News that she felt going through the tedious and expensive process of applying for intervener status would be worth it.

Ross also disagreed that FVRD has dragged its feet in responding to Kinder Morgan’s plans.

“Kinder Morgan hasn’t even filed an application yet. We don’t yet have all the specific details of their application,” said Ross.

The questions represent FVRD’s initial step to research the facts of the project before the district takes an official position on it. Kinder Morgan is due to submit its application to the NEB this month.

Ross remained skeptical on the project.

“With Kinder Morgan, I can’t imagine what they would come up with to make me feel comfortable with this proposal, but I feel it’s my responsibility to wait until I get the application to see, before I jump to conclusions about what it is or isn’t.”

At the board meeting, CAO Paul Gipps said the regional district is envisioning holding a technical public workshop on Kinder Morgan’s project after receiving replies to the written questions. Several board members, including Gaetz and director Bill MacGregor, reaffirmed the importance of such a public discussion.

“This is an item that holds a tremendous amount of concern for many, many communities along this pipeline…It would do as all a measure of good if we were to engage the public,” said MacGregor, who also brought up the Sumas mountain spill of 2012.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mark Chandler, outside of his extradition hearing at the Vancouver Supreme Court. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley condo builder’s fraud sentencing in U.S. delayed due to COVID-19

Mark Chandler’s own lawyer contracted COVID-19 in December

People have noticed pine siskins dying in the area, part of a trend of larger numbers of the finch flocking to the area about every five years. The larger numbers result in crowding and increased spread of salmonella. (Wikipedia photo)
Langley birdwatchers seeing dead finch species in higher numbers

Pine siskins are in the area in larger numbers. They are prone to salmonella which is fatal for them

Electric charging stations, like this one outside the new North Delta Centre for the Arts, might be seeing more commercial delivery vehicles using them soon, if a provincial rebate program takes off. (James Smith photo/Special to Black Press Media)
Restaurants to get big rebates for electric delivery vehicles

The project boosts the rebates for electric commercial and industrial vehicles in B.C.

Langley Thunder (Black Press Media files)
Langley Thunder trades for Maple Ridge’s Cody Malawsky

BC Junior A Lacrosse League draft was held remotely on Thursday, Jan. 14

A woman uses her computer keyboard to type while surfing the internet in North Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Township of Langley says coding matters

Registration open for virtual codathon hosted in conjunction with the Intelligent Community Forum

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

The Delta Hospice Society operates the Harold & Veronica Savage Centre for Supportive Care (pictured) and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner. (The Canadian Press photo)
Fraser Health to evict Delta Hospice Society, open new hospice beds next door

Health authority will serve DHS 30 days’ notice when service agreement expires Feb. 25

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read