B.C. remains opposed to Trans Mountain expansion

Province ready to legislate new land-based oil spill standards, but Kinder Morgan has more to do, Environment Minister Mary Polak says

Tanker approaches Westridge terminal in Burnaby

The B.C. government is close to releasing its plan to provide “world-leading” prevention and response to land-based oil spills, but that progress isn’t enough to change its opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Environment Minister Mary Polak announced Monday the province’s final submission to the federal review of the project confirms it still has not met B.C.’s five conditions for approval of heavy oil pipelines.

Polak said she is preparing to present legislation this spring to establish new standards for land protection, after discussions with Trans Mountain operator Kinder Morgan Canada and other companies. B.C.s final submission to the National Energy Board continues to recommend the pipeline twinning not be approved, but Polak said that is not the final word.

“We have been encouraged by the number of government and industry leaders who have also taken up the challenge and accepted the need to proceed along our five conditions, but we have not at this time seen evidence in the NEB hearing process that those conditions can yet be met,” Polak said.

B.C.’s five conditions, presented in 2012, include NEB approval, “world-leading” land and marine spill prevention and response, meeting legal obligations to aboriginal communities and an unspecified “fair share” of provincial benefits from any new heavy oil pipeline project.

Kinder Morgan issued a statement Monday saying it continues to work with B.C., but requirements for aboriginal consultation, spill prevention and revenue sharing can’t be met by the company alone.

The project already faces 150 draft conditions from the NEB, in what Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson has called “the most highly scrutinized pipeline project by the NEB in history.”

The NEB is expected to hear intervenor arguments starting Jan. 19 in Burnaby, including affected municipalities. Vancouver is also opposed, arguing that a seven-fold increase in crude oil tanker traffic on Burrard Inlet represents an unacceptable risk.

The Trans Mountain pipeline has been operating one line for 60 years, running from northern Alberta through the B.C. Interior at Kamloops to its marine terminal in Burnaby. A branch line runs south to supply oil refineries on the coast of Washington state, and the pipeline has already been twinned on the Alberta side.

Kinder Morgan is hoping for an NEB decision to recommend proceeding by May. Final approval is up to the federal cabinet.

 

Just Posted

Vipers snap Trail Smoke Eaters’ winning streak

Matt Kowalski scores in overtime as Vernon wins fifth straight BCHL game, 3-2

Dream come true: sleep centre opens in Castlegar

Castlegar centre offers consultations and sleep lab tests.

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Castlegar mural defaced with swastika

RCMP do not suspect that the graffiti was the act of a hate group.

How local candidates are using Facebook to advertise directly to you

Liberal campaign is the biggest spender on Facebook ads in South Okanangan–West Kootenay

Alberta man pleads guilty, fined for hunting without a licence in North Island

It’s the responsibility of each hunter or angler to know whether they are considered a B.C. Resident.

B.C. mayor apologizes for removal of Queen’s portrait from council chambers

‘I prefer to be inclusive of the many aspects of our history’

Alcohol a possible factor in crash that killed 17-year-old girl near Williams Lake

A pickup truck left the road and rolled over on Highway 20 on the weekend

Rare bird spotted in Victoria draws enthusiasts from across the continent

It’s the first time a yellow-browed warbler has been reported on the mainland of North America

B.C. woman must pay $1,000 after unleashed dog bites another

Owner should never have left Bibi unattended, tribunal member wrote

Climate activist Greta Thunberg’s mural defaced in Edmonton

The eyes on the portrait were blacked out

Report suggests new BC Ferries terminal near YVR

Metro Vancouver currently has two ferry terminals at northern and southern reaches

B.C. scouting group’s tent destroyed by black bear on Thanksgiving

The Richmond-based Sea Dragon Sea Scouts were camping at Mount Seymour Provincial Park

Most Read