Chilliwack to participate in detailed route hearing for Trans Mountain project

Council has said throughout its main concern is the protection of the city’s drinking water supply

The City of Chilliwack is preparing to take part in a “detailed route hearing” for the Chilliwack portion of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

When Trans Mountain filed for approval of its detailed pipeline route in 2017, it was required to notify all affected landowners along the route, such as Chilliwack. After Chilliwack filed a statement of opposition (SOO) to the proposed route last fall, it was granted a detailed route hearing, which is expected to be held some time in late January or February.

Chilliwack council has repeated throughout the process that its main concern is the protection of the city’s drinking water supply, the Sardis-Vedder aquifer, both from the new pipeline, and the existing one.

“Council has directed staff to hire a consultant to further examine issues to be raised at the upcoming detailed route hearing,” Mayor Ken Popove said.“This will include attending the hearing with an engineering report that provides expert comment on potential impacts to the City’s potable water system, as well as comments regarding construction methods, environmental protection during construction, leak monitoring and prevention systems.”

Chilliwack reps will provide the Highway 1 route alternative to the right-of-way routing, “detailing alignment, land impacts, geometric challenges and construction disruption estimates,” the mayor added.

City of Chilliwack staff, and consultants, with the help of legal counsel, will be presenting submissions, and offering testimony at the upcoming hearings hosted by the Canadian Energy Regulator (CER).

Although 65 per cent of the route is already approved, there are six hearings coming up to cover the segments of the pipeline route not yet approved.

Chilliwack officials had asked if “trench lining” could be incorporated into the section over the aquifer, but Trans Mountain has not committed to this.

READ MORE: Objections in Chilliwack to the proposed route

“Thus the City remains concerned that the proposed location, timing and method of construction of the Project will harm the City Lands and its water supply,” according to the Statement of Opposition filed in September 2019 from Chilliwack.

Ian Stephen of WaterWealth Project said said the goal for them is to get the route changed once the route hearings begin. He pointed to efforts of a Kamloops city councillor who is trying to get the old Trans Mountain Pipeline moved out of a residential area and instead follow the new pipeline which goes around that neighbourhood. The question Stephen said he has for city officials planning for the detailed route hearing was, will they stand up for public safety?

“There are new powers in the CER Act to allow the regulator to order existing pipelines moved for to ensure the ‘safety of persons,’ Stephen said.

The previous NEB Act did not have those powers.

“If the Kamloops motion goes ahead it will be the first time, so far as I know, that anyone has asked the CER to use this new authority.”

Chilliwack is unique in that that the new pipe is planned to follow the old pipe through populated areas.

“A safer route could be taken here as well, for both pipelines,” Stephen added.

READ MORE: Already laying pipe in Alberta


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chilliwack widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on Chilliwack’s streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

LETTER: MLA responds to story on flooding in the Columbia valley

‘My constituents can be assured that I will always work hard for them’

Chilliwack volunteer recognized by peers after being ineligible for volunteer-of-the-year award

Members of Back Country Horsemen honoured Rose Schroeder for her hard work, dedication to community

UPDATE: Sto:lo protest in support of Wet’suwet’en shuts down busiest intersection in Chilliwack

Protesters escorted by RCMP in organized event that included speeches and songs at Luckakuck/Vedder

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

World Cup skier from Okanagan dies suddenly at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Teen snowmobiler from Kelowna found after air force’s overnight search

The teen had been missing since just after 6 p.m. on Monday

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read