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Trudeau approves Kinder Morgan pipeline, B.C. stands by five conditions

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Overview of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. Map produced by the National Energy Board, April 2016.

In response to the federal government’s approval of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project, British Columbia’s Minister of Environment Mary Polak said five conditions need to be met for new or expanded heavy-oil pipeline projects.

The five conditions are:

  • Successful completion of the environmental review process.
  • World-leading marine oil spill response, prevention and recovery systems for B.C.’s coastline and ocean to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines and shipments.
  • World-leading practices for land oil spill prevention, response and recovery systems to manage and mitigate the risks and costs of heavy oil pipelines.
  • Legal requirements regarding Aboriginal and treaty rights are addressed, and First Nations are provided with the opportunities, information and resources necessary to participate in and benefit from a heavy-oil project.
  • British Columbia receives a fair share of the fiscal and economic benefits of a proposed heavy oil project that reflects the level, degree and nature of the risk borne by the province, the environment and taxpayers.

The BC Environmental Assessment Office is still working on its own environmental assessment of the project, which has been underway for seven months. Polak said she has “every confidence in B.C.’s environmental assessment process.”

Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project was given the green light by the federal government on November 29, 2016. It involves building a new pipeline along the existing Trans Mountain pipeline route between Edmonton, Alberta and Burnaby, B.C.

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Overview of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. Map produced by the National Energy Board, April 2016.
Overview of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. Map produced by the National Energy Board, April 2016. (Click to enlarge)

The new 1,147 kilometre pipeline will increase capacity from 300,000 barrels to 890,000 barrels per day. It will also increase the number of tanker ships at Burnaby’s Westridge Marine Terminal from five to 34 per month.

Opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline remains, however, with environmental and Indigenous groups pledging to block oil sands projects. Following the pipeline’s approval, the Treaty Alliance, an organization of First Nations opposed to tar sands oil projects, announced that over 100 First Nations and Tribes would work to ensure the pipelines “will never see the light of day.”

 

For more background information on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, visit: www.nrcan.gc.ca/energy/resources/19142

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