Burnaby Board of Trade’s Kinder Morgan Report Sceptical of Pipeline Expansion

BBOT_HeaderLogoThis week the Burnaby Board of Trade delivered its much-anticipated Special Report to Members after 10 months of consulting with Kinder Morgan and interested stakeholders and experts. Here is the full report and below are some highlights and conclusions.

Routing: The Burnaby Board of Trade believes that it is reasonable to adjust the route in some instances where land use has changed since the original pipeline was constructed, but feels that the project as currently proposed is in many ways a new pipeline in a new route.

Tax Revenue: While all Canadians will benefit from this increased cash flow into the country, the Burnaby Board of Trade sees this as an example of how the economic benefits of this project do not necessarily flow to the jurisdictions assuming the most risk.

Pipeline Safety: The Burnaby Board of Trade has concerns about the provisions for spill and rupture prevention given the seismic nature of the BC coast and the ability of either Kinder Morgan or first responders to respond to ruptures following a major earthquake.

Spill Response: The Burnaby Board of Trade learned that weather, location and extent of the spill and the speed of the response, will have a material impact on the effectiveness of recovery operations in a dilbit spill. The Burnaby Board of Trade believes that dilbit will float on water for some time, likely in a coagulated form. There is also evidence that dilbit may partially or fully sink over time when agitated or mixed with sediment.

Liability and Responsibility: Burnaby Board of Trade is concerned that the clean-up of a spill into a body of water would have the potential of costing more than $1.6 billion and is concerned with the feasibility of “unlimited liability” in practice and the successful recovery of any taxpayer funds extended to industry in the event of a spill. The Burnaby Board of Trade would like affirmations that any clean-up costs and damages, including habitat remediation and species recovery, can and will be obtained from the project proponents and their customers, and that taxpayers would be protected from these costs. The Burnaby Board of Trade is especially interested in assurances that the shippers and transporters would also be held responsible as Trans Mountain’s liability extends only as far as the loading of the tanker.

Conclusion: Burnaby Board of Trade has concerns with the Trans Mountain expansion as it is currently proposed, particularly with respect to the impact of seismic activity on the pipeline, the equitable distribution of economic benefits from the project, the appropriateness of an urban setting as the terminus, and the breakdown of the relationship between the project proponent and local stakeholders.

The Burnaby Board of Trade also has concerns about the ability of the Burnaby Mountain tank farm, which stores additional oil, to withstand an earthquake. Considering the current urban nature of Burnaby, anticipated future growth and densification, and the necessity for much of the pipeline to follow a new route in Burnaby, the Burnaby Board of Trade questions whether Burnaby remains an appropriate terminus for this project. Finally, the Burnaby Board of Trade is concerned with the state of the current relationship between the project proponent and various key stakeholders.

The conclusions highlighted in this report and the information discussed during the various consultations and research conducted by the Burnaby Board of Trade will inform its Letter of
Comment to the National Energy Board.

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