Kinder Morgan wins court ruling against protesters

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP can resume preliminary work on the Trans Mountain pipeline after a court in British Columbia granted an injunction against protesters who have been blocking work-crew access in Burnaby, a suburb of Vancouver, to undertake field studies.

Trans Mountain says it is now reviewing the terms of the granted injunction and will soon announces its work schedule.

Kinder Morgan says that it has been consulting with neighbors over the last two-and-a-half years about the best route for the pipeline.

Many area residents oppose the plan to run the pipeline under the mountain. The city of Burnaby tried to stop the company from cutting down trees, but lost before the national energy regulator and a court ruling. The mayors of Vancouver and Burnaby, as well as several aboriginal and environmental groups oppose the project.

The company has been carrying out studies since August 2014 on Burnaby Mountain to determine whether routing a 2km section of the proposed pipeline between Kinder Morgan’s Burnaby Terminal and Westridge Marine Terminal – through the mountain – is safe and feasible.

Ian Anderson, Kinder Morgan

Following the ruling, Mr. Anderson says the company will soon announce a work plan.

President of Kinder Morgan Canada, Ian Anderson, said:

“We made a commitment in the consultation to listen closely and do our best to respond to concerns. We want to keep our commitment. The people who are trying to do the studies on Burnaby Mountain are your neighbors – they’re everyday men and women who are trying to carry out lawful work.”

“We ask the protesters to exercise their rights in a respectful manner and allow our team to get the evidence needed to respond to requests made in our consultation.”

The remaining studies involve drilling two six-inch bore holes, about 250 meters deep, taking core samples at the two locations. Kinder Morgan assures local residents that it is committed to minimizing any impacts and will restore and/or compensate for any disturbance at Burnaby Mountain.

The company points out that if the project is approved, the effect on Burnaby Mountain will be tiny because the tunnel will be several meters under the ground.

Kinder Morgan wrote:

“Trans Mountain believes the proposed route through Burnaby Mountain is the best option and is a result of consultation with the community and their request to see the existing pipeline rerouted.”

“If the Project is approved, the tunnel would enable relocation of the existing line between the terminals through Burnaby Mountain.”

Kinder Morgan says the route will minimize impacts to the environment, local residents, traffic and the general public during construction.

Trans Mountain wants to expand its current 1,150km pipeline between Strathcone County (near Edmonton), Alberta and Burnaby, British Columbia.

If approved, the proposed project would create a twinned pipeline that would raise nominal capacity of the system to 890,000 barrels per day from its current 300,000 barrels per day. The project is estimated to cost C$5.4 billion ($4.79 billion).

Video – The Trans Mountain Pipeline