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How-to session for Kinder Morgan hearing in Chilliwack

Chilliwack will be one of several Fraser Valley communities holding public information sessions on how to participate in the National Energy Board (NEB) review of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline proposal.

Hosted by the PIPE UP Network and ForestEthics Advocacy, the public session in Chilliwack is set for 7-9 p.m. on February 4 at UFV Chilliwack.

The public have to navigate a tricky application process, and all participants are required to prove that they are either “directly affected” by the proposed project or possess relevant expertise. In order to participate as an intervenor or to submit a letter of comment, all applicants must be approved by the NEB.

"Residents in Chilliwack and other communities within the Fraser Valley Regional District have expressed concerns about the possibility of a route through the Cheam Lake Wetlands. Many are interested in making comments," said Michael Hale, a Chilliwack resident.

Applications to participate from groups and individuals will be only accepted by the NEB until February 12, following the formal project application, which was filed in December 2013.

"The pipeline route is also near several schools in the Lower Mainland," said Hale. "I'm sure that the NEB would want to hear the views of these residents, so the intent of these sessions is to make it easier for people to voice their opinions."

Kinder Morgan is proposing a new export pipeline to carry diluted bitumen to offshore markets. The proposal is to ship an additional 590,000 barrels of bitumen through B.C.

Local PIPE UP member Lynn Perrin said: "Everyone in Southwestern BC is potentially affected by this pipeline proposal, yet it is much more difficult for residents to speak about how it affects them.

"Residents can no longer make oral statements as they did in the review of SE2 10 years ago or in the more recent review of the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal."

The Chilliwack session is on February 4, at the University of the Fraser Valley Chilliwack room A1354, at 45190 Caen Ave. For more details contact Michael Hale at sunfolk@gmail.com, or 604-799-3391

* The date information has been revised from an earlier version

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