Kinder Morgan has filed an application with the National Energy Board for its proposed expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to B.C.
According to a statement issued by the company today (December 16), the formal application is over 15,000 pages and up to two metres in height when printed. The proposal would see Kinder Morgan nearly triple its capacity from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.
“For the past 18 months we have engaged extensively with landowners, Aboriginal groups, communities and stakeholders along the entire proposed expansion route, and marine communities, and have carefully considered the input received during this period of study and dialogue,” Ian Anderson, president of Kinder Morgan Canada, said in a news release.
“Our engagement efforts will continue beyond this filing leading up to the NEB hearing as we consider further input to our planning on this project.”
According to a summary of the application, 73 percent of the proposed expansion will follow the existing pipeline route from Edmonton to Burnaby. Another 17 percent will follow existing utility corridors or other infrastructure. The proposed project includes 994 kilometres of new pipeline.
The submission of the formal application is being met with criticism from some environmental groups, including the Wilderness Committee and ForestEthics Advocacy.
“The message we‘ve been hearing from communities along the pipeline and tanker route is that this project is not wanted,” Wilderness Committee Policy Director Gwen Barlee said in a news release.
“First Nations, municipal leaders and even businesses have acknowledged the serious risks associated with the proposal, which would drastically increase tar sands exports from BC’s coast.”
Ben West, Tar Sands Campaign director with ForestEthics Advocacy, said Kinder Morgan’s announcement comes during the same week Enbridge is expecting a decision from the National Energy Board on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.
“Kinder Morgan is trying to give folks in BC the impression that they are the better alternative to the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and that their project is simply a twinning of the old Trans Mountain pipeline,” West said in a news release. “The truth is that this is really a lot more like a twin of the Enbridge proposal than the existing Trans Mountain pipeline.”
West noted that both the City of Vancouver and the City of Burnaby have voiced their opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposed expansion, and that more than 130 First Nations have signed a declaration opposing oil sands export pipelines across B.C.
Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion expansion proposal could see tanker traffic in the region increase from five to 34 ships per month. If approved, the pipeline project is expected to be operational by late 2017.
The full application can be viewed on the Trans Mountain website.