Allow Residents to Participate in Hearings About Oil Pipeline

Vancouver Harbour from Burnaby

Target: National Energy Board

Goal: Allow concerned residents of Burnaby, B.C. to participate in regulatory hearings regarding expansion of oil pipeline

The National Energy Board has ruled not to allow a group of residents in Burnaby, B.C., represented by EcoJustice, to participate in regulatory hearings regarding the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The pipeline which carries crude oil from Alberta’s oilsands to Vancouver Harbour, would run through many of these residents’ backyards, so they have a right to a say in the proceedings.

Currently, the pipeline carries 300,000 barrels of heavy crude oil per day, but with the expansion would carry 750,000 barrels. Kinder Morgan Canada is planning this $4.1 billion expansion project to its Trans Mountain Pipeline despite risks. Similarly ambitious pipeline projects have encountered environmental risks, which residents and concerned groups foresee with this expansion if they are not allowed to participate in hearings.

The toll application process, which these groups are being excluded from involves technical deliberation, but is the first major step towards the implementation of the project. Kinder Morgan has continually pressured the National Energy Board to exclude resident, environment and other public-interest groups from hearings and to only allow commercial and government interests. Further, the company has requested exemption from several regulations which could potentially affect human and environmental health and safety.

Pipelines throughout Canada are raising ever more public concern as they increasingly infringe on public and private land, and risks become more apparent. Therefore, public involvement and transparency should be encouraged. Please demand that the National Energy Board allow residents to participate in upcoming hearings regarding the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and ensure that their concerns are adequately considered.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear National Energy Board,

The expansion of Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain Pipeline has serious implications for area residents, and yet a concerned group of Burnaby residents and other public interests are being excluded from the project hearings. The project would massively increase the amount of oil transported through the pipeline, and would expand through communities and residents’ land.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline carries crude oil from Alberta to Vancouver Harbour. Its current capacity of 300,000 barrels per day would increase to 750,000 barrels, carrying with it greater risk. As oil pipelines spread through Canada there is greater public concern, and thus more public involvement in the proceedings of these projects should be encouraged. However, Kinder Morgan is pressuring the National Energy Board to exclude these vital voices from the regulatory hearings.

Specifically, a group of residents in Burnaby, B.C., represented by EcoJustice is being excluded from the upcoming toll application hearings. Residents are worried about how the pipeline expansion will affect the health and safety of their community, especially as Kinder Morgan has applied for several regulatory exemptions.

Please allow this group of residents to participate in all upcoming hearings for the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, and encourage public involvement in all pipeline proceedings so that the health and safety of people and the environment are prioritized.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Faythe Lu, NOAA’s National Ocean Service via Flickr

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