City submits final arguments on Kinder Morgan pipeline to National Energy Board
January 12 2016
In our final written submission to the National Energy Board (NEB), we have concluded that the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion is not in the public interest because the:
- Adverse effects of the project would outweigh any possible benefits
- Required environmental impact assessment is incomplete
Summary to be presented to NEB on February 5
Following two weeks of oral summaries that will take place in Burnaby from January 19-29, we are the only intervenor from British Columbia to present our oral summary argument in person in Calgary to the NEB, the presentation will be live-streamed.
We will present our oral summary in Calgary to the NEB on February 5 where we will:
- Reaffirm Council's opposition to the project
- Highlight the fundamental flaws in the NEB review process
- Detail the numerous significant risks related to the proposal (many of which have not been adequately addressed by Trans Mountain)
- Challenge the perceived need for a pipeline expansion given the limited international market for Alberta's oil sands bitumen
NEB review process
Throughout the NEB review process, which spanned 25 months and was delayed twice, we, and many other intervenors, have raised significant concerns with what is considered to be a flawed process which allows for no opportunities for oral cross-examination and inadequate information sharing throughout. Of the nearly 1400 questions submitted by us to Kinder Morgan, at least 40% of the responses given by Kinder Morgan were unsatisfactory.
Why the risks outweigh the benefits
We have worked closely with other intervenors, including municipalities and First Nations, to commission independent experts to prepare reports to submit as evidence to the NEB. This science-based, rigorous and comprehensive evidence forms the basis of our final written submission to the NEB.
The conclusion that the risks of the pipeline far outweigh the benefit was based on the following findings:
Kinder Morgan's assessment has fundamental flaws that systematically underestimate the risks to Vancouver
- The existing pipeline has a history of spills, approximately 1.53 per year, and was approved with no environmental assessment
- There are significant gaps in preparedness for a major spill, a concern also raised by the Province of BC in its decision to formally oppose the expansion
- City staff are working to improve systems but many of the issues are outside of our jurisdiction
- A major oil spill would be a disaster for Vancouver's environment, economy, health, and reputation
- Kinder Morgan failed to model a tanker spill in the Burrard Inlet, despite the obvious risks to our population
- Even a less than "worse case" spill in the Burrard Inlet or Fraser River would be disastrous including our global reputation as being uniquely "clean green and sustainable"
Over the past 18 months, we have collected questions and concerns about the proposal from the public, which helped to inform our process and ensure that all voices are heard. Over 5,000 people have filled out an online survey with over 80% of respondents opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion proposal.
Join the conversation online at #TalkTankers