Opinion: Oh look, I live at two of Burnaby’s TMX ‘troubling hot spots’. Should I move?

Chris Campbell

I was home sick for much of Wednesday and so I missed a story by Burnaby NOW reporter Kelvin Gawley on a new report about the Trans Mountain project.

Stand.earth identified seven “troubling hot spots” along the pipeline’s proposed route, three of which are found in its terminus city, Burnaby: the Westridge marine terminal, Burnaby Mountain tank farm and a tunnel the company plans to bore through the mountain to connect the two. 

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And guess what? I live around two of them – the tank farm and the tunnel that will be bored right under my home. So now I feel even sicker.

Should I move? What would you do?

The planned doubling of tanks on Burnaby Mountain would increase the risk of a major fire that would be near impossible for firefighters to extinguish, forcing them to wait “days or weeks” for it to burn out, said Tzeporah Berman, Stand.earth’s international program director.

The City of Burnaby and Burnaby Fire Department have previously raised concerns about Trans Mountain’s emergency preparedness plans for such a fire. 

Trans Mountain, a Crown corporation since the project was purchased by the federal government in 2018, declined to determine conclusively whether there are fault lines in Burnaby Mountain, where it plans to bore a 2.6-kilometre tunnel. 

In a statement, Trans Mountain did not directly address the specific issues raised by Stand.earth, but said it has addressed all issues associated with the expansion project.  

“After seven years of consultation, design, studies and planning, we are confident we have considered, addressed and effectively mitigated the concerns and risks raised in this report,” a spokesperson wrote. “The re-start of construction on the expansion project demonstrates that Canada can have a healthy, rigorous discussion about issues and also ensure a project that has followed every process and obtained the necessary approvals gets built.”

Hmmm, does Trans Mountain’s response make me feel better? Not really.

- With additional reporting by Kelvin Gawley

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.


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