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Chilliwack chapter says aquifer & backyards threatened by Kinder Morgan pipeline

The Council of Canadians Chilliwack chapter is opposed to the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

It has highlighted concerns the tar sands pipeline could have on their community’s aquifer and drinking water in the area.

Now the Chilliwack Progress reports, “City Council will consider a staff recommendation [on Tuesday March 7] to send a letter of comment to the National Energy Board (NEB) about construction methods for the pipeline [in Chilliwack] between Watson Elementary and Deerfield Crescent. In that stretch, the existing right-of-way of the 1953 pipeline runs underneath or near the backyards of approximately 50 residential homes.”

Kinder Morgan would either have to directionally drill a 20 metre tunnel through the city’s aquifer (which is 10 metres below the ground) or dig a shallow trench through these backyards to build this pipeline.

In a letter to Kinder Morgan, Rod Sanderson, the City of Chilliwack’s deputy director of engineering, wrote, “[If the pipeline were to run through the aquifer and there was] a major release, there is a likelihood that parts of the aquifer would be compromised and could not be remediated sufficiently to allow for drinking water supply over a considerable time frame.”

Kinder Morgan has to file its plan on the Popkum-Chilliwack-Coquitlam segment of the route by March 10. According to the Chilliwack Progress, “Notices should [then] go out to landowners on the route and that will trigger a 30-day period during which time people can file opposition.”

Another option beyond endangering the community’s drinking water or digging up their backyards should be to cancel the Kinder Morgan pipeline.

For more on the Chilliwack chapter’s opposition to the pipeline, please click here.