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LETTER: Trans Mountain pipeline poses risk to Vedder Fan Aquifer area



Wendy Major writes in the Chilliwack Times, “As a private homeowner in the Vedder Fan Aquifer area, south part of Chilliwack, I am mindful of the need to monitor my personal water use and the application of any yard materials that could impact groundwater quality. I recognize that I live on top of this marvelous aquifer in Sardis that is a Protected Groundwater Zone. …Now, since 1998, apparently, Chilliwack takes 100 per cent of drinking water for the community from these wells located within the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer. According to the B.C. government website, a Government of B.C. Environmental Water Quality chart rates the Vedder Fan Aquifer-Chilliwack as one of six main 1A Type (1A equals highly productive and highly vulnerable) aquifers in the Lower Mainland region.”

“Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline system passes right through the municipality of Chilliwack’s Protected Groundwater Zone. In fact, this pipeline was installed through my neighbourhood where there are now three well pump stations bringing aquifer water up from below ground in close proximity to Kinder Morgan’s 60-year-old pipeline. …It would seem that diluted bitumen is possibly already being shipped through this old pipeline from the Alberta oil sands and contains a payload of toxic material that could pollute the nearby soil and water resources irreparably; through seepage, leaks or spills or ruptures due to a natural earth movement.”

She concludes, “I’m wondering if other folks in Chilliwack have questions about how we can be proactive to protect our vulnerable ‘best water in Canada’ aquifers. At this point in time I am unaware of any firewall protection between our underwater well/aquifers and the adjacent subsurface old pipeline carrying toxic oil sand through from Rosedale to Yarrow and beyond and all the waterways therein.”

To read about the Council of Canadians campaign against the Trans Mountain pipeline, please go to http://canadians.org/pipelines. That web-page notes, “Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline currently carries 300,000 barrels of oil a day. Over the last ten years, Kinder Morgan has submitted a series of applications to the NEB to increase the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline and its Westridge operations. These plans, which have received firm support from Big Oil, stand to increase the capacity to 700,000 barrels a day. …The pipeline presently spans 1,150 kms from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, B.C., including through Jasper National Park. The pipeline is multi-use, it has transported natural gas, jet fuel and oil, however since 2005 it is increasingly being used to transport tar sands crude to both Greater Vancouver and the Puget Sound area in Washington State, feeding Chevron, BP, Shell and Conoco Phillips refineries as well as export terminals.”

To read Major’s letter, go to http://www.chilliwacktimes.com/business/precious+aquifer+protected+from+disaster/6670015/story.html.