Redwoods Golf Course is shown here in an undated Bing.com aerial view.

Trans Mountain considers alternative oil pipeline route through Langley

Builder says it is ‘actively’ pursuing a different path through north Langley, one which would avoid digging up near the Salmon River.

The people planning to build a second oil pipeline through Langley Township are looking at a different route that would avoid digging up the flood plain near the Salmon River.

In response to a Times query, Trans Mountain spokesperson Lizette Parsons Bell said the company is considering an alternate path, one that came up during meetings with property owners along the proposed route in Langley.

“From those discussions, we have received good input about an alternative that may better meet our routing objectives,” Parsons Bell said in a written statement emailed to The Times.

“We are currently pursuing this actively.”

That option could be the Redwoods Golf Course, according to Byron Smith, who is one of the property owners who met with the land agent for the pipeline company.

“That would be my suspicion,” Smith told The Times.

Smith said the golf course, which is owned by the Township of Langley, was raised as an option during the meetings he and his neighbours had with the land agent.

The company has also recently told them by email that an optional route is under consideration, Smith said.

Current plans would see the new line run through the flood plain near the Salmon River, where the 31-acre Smith family farm and several others are located.

Kinder Morgan wants to expand the capacity of the Trans Mountain Pipeline system that ships Alberta crude to the company’s Burrard Inlet oil terminal by building a second, larger line that would run beside the existing pipe most of the way, but diverting from the existing line where it runs through built-up residential areas in Walnut Grove.

Smith and his neighbours oppose the route through their farms, arguing the potential environmental damage from an oil spill would be catastrophic.

He calls the golf course a more logical choice, because it would move the line away from the flats.

“That’s a better direction, in my opinion,” Smith said.

He said he remains opposed to the pipeline because he doesn’t believe it benefits the B.C. economy enough to justify the disruption.

The company is expected to file a formal proposal for the route by Dec. 16.

Today (Tuesday, Nov. 19), Greg Toth, senior director of Kinder Morgan, will present a progress report on the pipeline project to the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce at the Cascades Convention Centre.

Cost for chamber members is $35 and for non-members $50.

The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. and the presentation will take place afterwards.

— With files from Frank Bucholtz.

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