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Pipeline info meeting in Langley draws crowd
According to Kinder Morgan, a total of 52 people — many of whom are property owners — turned out to at an open house for the proposed Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion held at Walnut Grove Secondary on Thursday night.
Many people don’t realize that 17 kilometres of pipeline already runs through Langley, right through many urban neighbourhoods in Walnut Grove. Kinder Morgan is proposing to twin that pipeline and double the amount of oil pumped through those lines.
Several citizens with a new group called Pipe Up Network, who are opposed to the expansion project, set up an information booth outside the meeting on Thursday.
“A lot of residents we have talked to were shocked to know that a pipeline already runs through Langley,” said local resident Kevin Harper who joined Pipe Up Network, a group of concerned citizens from Burnaby to Hope.
Wendy Major, a retired school teacher in Chilliwack, said a bitumen spill in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 2010 “caused health problems for the people and devastated local business.”
That pipeline, owned by Enbridge Energy Partners, reportedly spilled an estimated 843,000 gallons of diluted bitumen into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. The cleanup and health impacts raised questions about B.C.’s ability to respond to a similar disaster.
Kinder Morgan wants to build a second pipeline from Alberta through B.C. to a shipping port in Burnaby. It would increase daily capacity to 750,000 barrels from the current 300,000 barrels.
“It’s a 60-year-old pipeline that has diluted bitumen running through it. They want to run 750,000 barrels per day through those lines.
“It’s scary to think of,” said Harper. He said the Huntingdon aquifer, several waterways and a bird sanctuary in Langley are all on the pipeline route.
“When they put in this pipeline 60 years ago, this was all farmland,” said Major. She taught at an elementary school that has a pipeline running right through the playground there.
“They don’t even have a definite plan for the second line so we are very worried. Now they are dealing with running a new pipeline through heavily populated areas,” she said.
Inside the meeting, several land owners wanted to be re-assured that Kinder Morgan can’t just go on their property and start digging to put in a new pipe.
At least a dozen representatives from Kinder Morgan (TransMountain) were on hand at the meeting, wearing visible green jackets, ready to answer questions.
But one question they couldn’t answer is what the exact route of the twin pipeline will be.
There is a routing team in place trying to determine a corridor for the new pipes to be put in. The map of that new line will start a new round of public meetings.
More Oil Means More Tankers
Currently, of the many deep draft vessels coming into Vancouver harbour each month, only eight are oil tankers. If the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion gets approved, that number will increase to around 25 oil tankers. If approved, the pipeline could start operating in 2017.
Kinder Morgan runs a total of 17 km of pipeline through Langley, starting in the Port Kells industrial area, heading east through urban areas of Walnut Grove, through Yorkson Creek, across Belmont Golf Course and across the Salmon River, cutting through West Creek Watershed, along the nature reserve at Ponder Park, into the hills above Glen Valley and into rural areas past Nathan Creek.
Here is a link to the Langley map: http://pipeupnetwork.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/langley-township-kinder-morgan-transmountain-pipeline-route-copy.pdf.