Feature Story                                                                                          Thursday, January 30, 2014


Pipelines and People

Pipe Up Network has concerns about proximity of line to schools and homes

Released by Michael Hale, Pipe Up Network/Handout photo and map


The Kinder Morgan pipeline under construction near Jasper, Alberta. The Athabasca River is in the background. Below, a Voice file photo of residents at the Trans Mountain info session in December 2012.


series of public information sessions will be held to inform Fraser Valley residents about the National Energy Board (NEB) review of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal. ForestEthics Advocacy and the PIPE UP Network, are organizing the information sessions which will be held in Langley, Maple Ridge, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

Kinder Morgan is proposing to build a new export pipeline to carry diluted bitumen to offshore markets. The proposal is to ship an additional 590,000 barrels of bitumen per day through BC.

"We hope this will fill a need for residents who will be affected by Kinder Morgan's proposal," said session organizer Sven Biggs of ForestEthics Advocacy. "It is a whole new ballgame since the federal government changed the rules in 2012 with omnibus budget bill C-45. We are concerned that the NEB has not provided public in-person information sessions about the new review process. We want to try to fill that gap."

"People in Fort Langley and Walnut Grove are directly affected. Each of these communities is an alternate route for the proposed pipeline, and folks want to comment. The National Energy Board can approve or reject applications to make written comment or be an intervener. It is not exactly a user-friendly process," said Langley resident Byron Smith.

"The people on the north shore of the Fraser River feel just as affected as those nearer the pipeline," said Mike Gildersleeve, a PIPE UP member from Mission. "Should there be an oil spill into the Fraser River or one of its tributaries, it would affect local economies. Residents want to have a say, yet many of those who have participated in NEB information sessions online have found it confusing. We hope to try to demystify the process."

"Everyone in Southwestern BC is potentially affected by this pipeline proposal, yet it is much more difficult for residents to speak about how it affects them. Residents can no longer make oral statements as they did in the review of Sumas Energy 2 ten years ago or in the more recent review of the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal," said Pipe Up member Lynn Perrin.

"Residents in Chilliwack and other communities within the Fraser Valley Regional District have expressed concerns about the possibility of a route through the Cheam Lake Wetlands. Many are interested in making comments," said Pipe Up Director Michael Hale, who also lives in Chilliwack. "The pipeline route is also near several schools in the Lower Mainland. I'm sure that the NEB would want to hear the views of these residents, so the intent of these sessions is to make it easier for people to voice their opinions."

Download a Wilderness Committee pipeline map here.

Information sessions are scheduled for the following locations and dates:

Maple Ridge - February 3, Municipal Council Chambers, 11995 Haney Place, Maple Ridge, BC V2X 6A9 7-9:00 p.m.

Chilliwack - February 4, University of the Fraser Valley, Chilliwack. Room A1354, 45190 Caen Avenue Chilliwack BC V2R 0N3 7-9:00 p.m.

Abbotsford - February 5, University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Room B133, 33844 King Road, Abbotsford, BC, V2S 7M8 7-9:00 p.m.

Langley - February 6, Ft. Langley Community Hall, 9167 Glover Road, Fort Langley BC 6-8:00 p.m. - The hall will be open from 2:00 on for people who wish to drop in. Liz McDowell of CRED will be available for businesses from 3:30-5:00 p.m.


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