Langley Township will receive $1.4 million from the Trans Mountain Pipeline project as part of a community benefit agreement, the Township officially announced last week.
The money will go towards building a pedestrian and bicycle overpass on the waterfront in Fort Langley, east of Glover Road.
It will allow walkers and cyclists to cross the railroad tracks safely and will extend the Fort-to-Fort Trail at Marina Park across the CN Railway line and lead to the Fort Langley National Historic Site nearby.
The benefit agreement is part of a deal with the pipeline, which was formerly owned by Kinder Morgan but which is being purchased and completed by the federal government.
The original pipeline was built in the 1950s to carry oil and bitumen from Alberta to a refinery in Burnaby. The expansion, currently underway, will add a new pipeline and almost triple the capacity of the pipeline.
The project has been controversial with environmentalists and some First Nations whose traditional territory is being crossed by the pipeline. Business groups, including the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce, have expressed support for the project.
The pipeline expansion has been in the planning stages since 2013, and the Township has opposed the project on a number of grounds.
The Advance Times recently reported that the Township has dropped its official opposition to the pipeline.
According to a statement from the Township, the municipality has reached agreement on a number of matters, including
• Designating vulnerable aquifers
• Reviewing construction methods related to Township roads
• Reviewing mitigation and reclamation works related to Township parks and environmentally sensitive areas
• Ensuring local environmental protection
• The crossings of three fish-bearing streams: Davidson Creek, the Salmon River, and Yorkson Creek, and
• Compliance with local municipal procedures and building permits.
Although the Township opposed the project officially for many years, because pipelines are under federal jurisdiction, it had no real ability to prevent the pipeline from being built.
With the official objections dropped, municipal officials will continue to talk to the Trans Mountain builders during the construction process.
“We are pleased that the concerns were resolved and that Township land, water, and existing infrastructure will be protected, while also gaining new amenities for all community members to use and benefit from for years to come,” said Township Mayor Jack Froese.
“These resolutions were guided by our sustainability charter goals including protecting our people and properties, developing livable and vibrant communities, investing in effective infrastructure, and conserving and enhancing our environment, among others,” Froese said.