It’s our job to understand pipeline risks

I’d like to respond to the full-page ad in yesterday’s Progress from Kinder Morgan Canada claiming that property values will not be impacted by a new oil pipeline.

As a matter of fact, whether or not property values will be impacted depends greatly on the reputation and performance of the pipeline. Studies of pipeline spills in other places show that reputation matters. Since the proposed new Trans Mountain pipeline is a high-profile project, it’s more likely to impact home values on or near the new right-of-way.

The ad also forgot to mention that if there’s a spill or leak along the pipeline route, impacted and adjacent homes will lose significant value. If a spill contaminates groundwater or gets into a home’s foundations, as in the case of the recent Exxon spill in Mayflower, Arkansas, then the impacts will be permanent. What’s more, if news spreads and the pipeline develops a bad reputation, even homes across town from a spill site could expect to be impacted — this happened after a 1999 pipeline explosion in Bellingham.

Now of course it’s not Kinder Morgan’s job to tell you about the risks of their proposal, but as residents it’s our job to know about them.


Liz McDowell

CRED BC - Conversations for Responsible Economic Development

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