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Chilliwack chapter says hundreds of requests made for Kinder Morgan route change

“A stack of statements ready to mail to the NEB!” Facebook photo by the WaterWealth Project.

The Council of Canadians Chilliwack chapter participated in two WaterWealth Project-organized ‘happy hour’ gatherings – on April 28 and April 29 – to encourage people to make submissions to the National Energy Board calling for a significant route change for the 890,000 barrel per day Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.

Chapter activist Suzy Coulter shared promotion for the gatherings on the chapter’s email contact list: “Concerned about the proposed location of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline? The route is NOT finalized, and we can let the National Energy Board know that we want the pipeline moved away from Chilliwack’s schools, wetlands, fault lines, homes, and drinking water! We have until May 7th to do so.”

This morning, Coulter tells us, “The Happy Hours have been a huge success, hundreds of statements of opposition have been sent.”

Coulter also points to a City of Chilliwack media release issued on May 5.

That media release notes, “The City of Chilliwack is firing back after a letter from Kinder Morgan showed little concern for the safety of the Sardis Vedder aquifer and the City’s municipal water supply well. In a letter dated May 1, Kinder Morgan asserted that there is no possibility of proceeding with a route within the BC Hydro right-of-way in Balmoral Park and provided the City with a heavily redacted report that is of little value in its current state. Kinder Morgan also wrote that it did not include the Sardis Vedder aquifer and the City’s municipal water supply well intake/drawdown region as a concern in their alignment scenarios. …In its letter, Kinder Morgan also rejected the City’s request for automated vapour monitoring to ensure early detection of leaking oil.”

The media release then highlights, “The City of Chilliwack has clearly and repeatedly told Kinder Morgan that one of our community’s biggest concerns is the safety of our drinking water and the protection of our aquifer. This was the number one concern identified in the City’s letter of comment to the National Energy Board. …The City of Chilliwack is asking Kinder Morgan to forward a complete unredacted copy of the BC Hydro study for independent review to help the City determine if alternatives to safeguard Chilliwack’s drinking water were considered.”

The City is now also calling on residents to write the National Energy Board prior to the May 7 deadline.

The Trudeau government approved the Kinder Morgan pipeline in November 2016. Tree clearing and site preparation for the pipeline is expected to begin this September, while construction on the pipeline itself is scheduled to begin in January 2018. The Council of Canadians is calling for a 100 per cent clean energy economy by 2050. The life span of the Trans Mountain pipeline could exceed that by decades. The Council of Canadians has been opposing the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline since August 2011.