Kinder Morgan Proposal
In April 2012, Kinder Morgan announced that they want to build approximately 900 km of new pipeline along the Trans Mountain Pipeline route so that the company can transport heavy crude oil from the tar sands in Alberta for refinement in foreign markets. This would increase the amount of heavy crude travelling through BC water more than seven times: from 60 tankers a year to over 400! The company would also need to build pumping stations and other infrastructure along the pipeline route and expand the Westridge Terminal on the Burrard Inlet.
The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Project would have serious and far-reaching environmental, economic, and health repercussions for people in BC.
Kinder Morgan’s Record of Spills
Since the 1960s, the longest period of time the Trans Mountain Pipeline has gone without a spill is approximately four years. Most of these spills have been of crude oil. Crude oil spills have dire and long-lasting impacts on the environment and are incredibly difficult to clean.
Below are notable spills originating from Kinder Morgan facilities in the last ten years.
On the south coast of BC:
July 24, 2007: 232,000 litres of crude oil spilled out of the pipeline in Burnaby, BC. The crude oil flowed through neighbourhood storm sewers and ditches before entering and contaminating a large portion of Burrard Inlet.
May 6, 2009: an estimated 200,000 litres of crude oil leaked from Kinder Morgan’s oil storage facility in Burnaby, BC.
January 31, 2012: an estimated 110,000 litres of crude oil leaked from Kinder Morgan’s oil storage facility on Sumas Mountain in Abbotsford.
Elsewhere in North America:
November 9, 2004: Five people were killed in an explosion when an excavator hit a Kinder Morgan gas pipeline in Walnut Creek, California. Kinder Morgan had failed to properly mark the pipeline’s location, and the excavator operator had been given an inaccurate map.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline project could result in a massive increase in tanker traffic in the Burrard Inlet. Now, approximately 30 to 70 tankers move through the Inlet per year. The project would see this number increased to between 300 and 360 large crude oil tankers per year.
The increase in tanker traffic increases the risk of spills in the already vulnerable environment of the Burrard Inlet. Crude oil spills in marine areas are especially dangerous because they are difficult to contain. The oil disperses on water, moves with currents and can affect large areas, not only of the body of water but the foreshore areas as well.
Along the Pipeline Route
The Trans Mountain Pipeline project has the potential to affect thousands of landowners along the proposed route. Land uses along the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline route have changed over time. While Kinder Morgan says the project will remain within the existing right-of-way, that right-of-way does allow for expropriation of land if necessary.
Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline: A Risk Too Great to Accept
Kinder Morgan is one of the largest energy companies in North America, operating pipelines and facilities that transport and handle natural gas, crude oil, jet fuel, refined petroleum and more. The company intends to more than double the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which extends approximately 1100 km between Edmonton, Alberta, and the Westridge Marine Terminal on the south shore of the Burrard Inlet.
The pipeline project is not intended to meet the energy needs of the Lower Mainland or British Columbia. The crude that the pipeline will carry is for export and will not be refined in Canada.
British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places in the world and this inlet is our home. There is just too much at stake to allow this project to proceed. It’s time to stand together against this proposal.
Click here for a copy of our Kinder Morgan information brochure.