City wants climate change to be considered in federal Trans Mountain Pipeline review

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Oil pipeline / Shutterstock

The City of Vancouver has asked the Federal Court of Appeal for permission for judicial review in order to appeal the National Energy Board’s (NEB) decision to deny climate change and environmental conditions in its assessment of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal.

The proposal is looking to expand its current 1,150 kilomenter pipeline between Strathcona County, Alberta and Burnaby, B.C. If the pipeline is approved, it would create a twinned pipeline that would increase oil flow from 300,000 to 900,000 barrels a day.

One May 15, 2014 the City of Vancouver filed the original motion, which requested that the NEB should consider climate change in the Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal review. The NEB rejected this request in July. The NEB stated that they would consider the broader economic benefits associated with the pipeline but not any environmental impacts. This decision raises concern as Vancouver is a coastal city that would be greatly impacted by the effects of climate change or by an oil spill.

Vancouver residents have made it clear that they strongly oppose the Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal. An on-going survey on the issue revealed that 70% of respondents were in opposition to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion proposal.

The survey also showed that Vancouverties’ top concerns regarding the pipeline included the risk to the environment, a possible spill in the Burrard Inlet, impact on wildlife, and health and safety impacts.

Last week, the National Energy Board decided that, under Federal laws, Kinder Morgan did not need permission to access land that belongs to Simon Fraser University and nature preservations. Kinder Morgan wants to build the new pipeline through Burnaby Mountain instead of through the current pipeline route which is located in residential and business areas.

In response, the City of Burnaby has made clear that it will take action to stop Kinder Morgan from gaining access to parkland and conservation areas.

Feature Image: Oil Pipeline via Shutterstock 

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Simran Singh is a Contributor at Vancity Buzz. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. She is a big fan of coffee, writing and exploring Vancouver. Send a story idea her way at simran@vancitybuzz.com
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