'New' pipeline route irks city

But Kinder Morgan and National Energy Board say route is nothing new

The City of Burnaby is blasting Kinder Morgan for yet another route change for the proposed pipeline, but the oil company and the National Energy Board say the path is nothing new.

On July 29, the mayor’s office issued a press release criticizing the company for flip flopping on the pipeline route, after Kinder Morgan indicated the secondary route option for the Westridge neighbourhood is down Cliff Avenue.

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“By changing their route proposal yet again, Kinder Morgan is continuing to demonstrate its complete lack of concern and respect for the tremendous impact of their proposals on the lives of Burnaby citizens,” said Mayor Derek Corrigan in the news release. 

This “new” alternative route is Kinder Morgan’s second choice if the company can’t drill or tunnel through Burnaby Mountain. This same Cliff Avenue route, however, was Kinder Morgan’s original preferred choice when the company filed its application to the National Energy Board last December. It wasn’t until April that the company announced it would prefer the Burnaby Mountain route instead, mainly to avoid opposition from residents who didn’t want the pipeline in their neighbourhood.

The Cliff Avenue option would start at the Burnaby Mountain tank farm, head down Burnaby Mountain Parkway and then down Hastings, before turning right onto Cliff Avenue, then it would cut through backyards on Northcliffe Crescent before connecting to the Westridge Marine Terminal, where tankers fill up with crude.

The city’s criticism came after Kinder Morgan filed some documents with the National Energy Board, stating they had accidently omitted the alternative Cliff Avenue route in their previous paperwork.

“The NEB must lose confidence in them,” Corrigan told the NOW. “The way they see how they handled this application, if this application is any indication of the work they want to do, … then we have every right to be concerned.”

Kinder Morgan’s Carey Johannesson explained the Cliff Avenue route is nothing new, and has always been under consideration, first as the preferred and then as the secondary option.

NEB spokesperson Sarah Kiley said the Cliff Avenue alternate route was already filed with the board on June 10, but the errata was issued for a later omission.

“That’s the way I’m reading it,” she said. “It appears to be they already filed it.”

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