Burnaby residents opposed to the Kinder Morgan pipeline are closing the door to attending an open house on the project.
Alan Dutton of BROKE (Burnaby Residents Opposing Kinder Morgan Expansion) says “there’s no point” to going to the information session on the expansion plans. Instead, his organization will hold its own meeting.
“I expect the open house will be the same as the other Kinder Morgan meetings – the goal is to isolate people, have private conversations and limit discussion so people don’t come up with a unified position,” said Dutton.
“It’s part of a strategy to limit discussion.”
The open house slated for Wednesday at the Executive Plaza Hotel in Coquitlam focuses on the plans for the two Kinder Morgan pipeline facilities in Burnaby: the storage tank terminal on Burnaby Mountain and the Westbridge Marine Terminal.
Under the proposed expansion, the Burnaby Storage Terminal would see 14 new storage tanks installed. The marine terminal would have new loading and small boat docks added to the existing facility.
Lisa Clement of TransMountain Pipeline media relations said the company is hoping for a positive, constructive session to hear community feedback and concerns.
“We’ve been part of the community for 60 years,” said Clement. “We have well-established relationships with those in the community.”
But Dutton says the community has major concerns over health and safety issues raised by the proposed expansion. He said the fumes from the operation affect air quality. Noise and the potential for oil spills are other issues.
And a major concern is the risk posed to the community in the wake of an earthquake.
“Building a tank farm on the side of a mountain in a seismic zone makes no sense,” he said.
Instead of demonstrating or packing the Kinder Morgan open house, Dutton says the 500-member BROKE will concentrate on holdings its own series of meetings. The next one is Thursday and the door is always open for Kinder Morgan to attend, he says.
“I hope Kinder Morgan sends people to our meetings so they can learn how the community really feels,” said the semi-retired former Simon Fraser University professor.
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