Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018
All's Well that Ends Well
Pipeline hits Chilliwack roadblock
By Ian Stephen,
Waterwealth executive director/Submitted photos
NEB decision on revised
pipeline route will take 12 weeks.
nation’s eyes are on Burnaby this week as National Energy Board (NEB)
hearings on the route of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project get under
way. Meanwhile residents of Chilliwack B.C. await the NEB decision on
whether Kinder Morgan will fill a 1.8 km gap in the pipeline route in
the wake of a realignment hearing last week.
In March 2017 after plans to route segment 6.3 of the expansion project
along BC Hydro’s right-of-way proved non-viable, Kinder Morgan applied
to the NEB for a realignment. The realignment would move the new
pipeline into the existing Trans Mountain pipeline right-of-way.
the move was strongly contested by the City of Chilliwack, local
freshwater advocates the WaterWealth Project, and area residents,
because the realignment would place the new pipeline across elementary
school grounds and into residential neighbourhoods closer to city
The S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance
(STSA), representing 13 Stó:lō First Nations, took no position on
the realignment, telling the NEB that the company had failed to
provide information needed to make an evaluation and had failed to
consult on traditional ecological knowledge. STSA asked the NEB to
intervene to hold Kinder Morgan accountable for effective
communications with First Nations.
realignment map shown in green. Initial Kinder Morgan route in
A hearing was held January 15 through January 18 under heavy police
presence in Chilliwack. The dominant issue throughout was City of
Chilliwack drinking-water wells close to the proposed pipeline
In closing arguments Thursday, WaterWealth Program Director Ian
Stephen said “The choice before the Panel now is simple” and that
the NEB “can make this community safer, or not.”
Kinder Morgan do not get the decision they are looking for, the
Trans Mountain project will be left with no route across segment 6.3
in the heart of Chilliwack. An alignment that BC Hydro would accept,
along the southern edge of their right-of way, would result in 605
metres of the pipeline outside of the general corridor previously
approved by the NEB so would require yet another NEB process as
Kinder Morgan try to fill the gap in their expansion project.
NEB staff said that it could be up to 12 weeks before a ruling on
the realignment is issued.
For more pipeline information and up
to date news, visit the Waterwealth website
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