City of Chilliwack strongly opposed to oil pipeline near aquifer

Hear the city’s opening statement on the concern over drinking at this month’s NEB hearing

The City of Chilliwack’s “significant and vulnerable” aquifer that supplies 80,000 people with high-quality, even award-winning, water is of the utmost concern to municipal officials when it come to the location of Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project.

RouteImageA National Energy Board (NEB) hearing was held in Chilliwack mid-January regarding the company’s pipeline route realignment application.

The existing pipeline runs through Watson elementary’s school yards and several homes on Roseberry and Montcalm roads. The expansion, which will triple the capacity of the 1,100-kilometre oil pipeline, was approved by the NEB to run in the BC Hydro right-of-way to the north of the existing route.

Trans Mountain applied to re-route the new pipeline in the existing right-of-way, something the city opposes because of its proximity to the city’s drinking water wells.

“The City of Chilliwack is opposed to the reroute application,” deputy director of engineering Rod Sanderson said in opening statements at the hearing on Jan. 15. “The proposed route is much closer to city wells than the BC Hydro route and puts the pipeline in the capture zone of the city’s drinking water wells. That means that any contaminants released from the pipeline could flow into the wells.”

Sanderson explained how city operations supply approximately 80,000 people with drinking water, a number expected to rise to 100,000 over the next 20 years.

“This is an extremely significant and vulnerable water source,” he said. “It’s also an excellent water source.”

Trans Mountain defends the re-route application arguing that both routes are outside the aquifer area anyway, and in the unlikely event of a leak, material would run to the north towards the Fraser River away from the aquifer.

A decision on the pipeline routing by the NEB will likely take a number of months.

• READ MORE: Pipeline routing through Chilliwack subject of NEB hearing Monday

• READ MORE: Pipeline company questioned about Chilliwack aquifer protection at NEB hearing

• READ MORE: Chilliwack resident worried pipeline could be in her backyard


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Freshet of 2018 evokes memories of the flood of 1948

And while the devastation of 70 years ago informs flood protection now, similar event not predicted

Chilliwack Chiefs prove doubters wrong with RBC Cup triumph

The Chiefs played with a chip on their shoulders, claiming their 1st-ever national junior A title.

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title.

Rising river prompts road closure in Chilliwack

Fraser expected to continue rise on Monday

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: Canadian Forces help flood-ravaged Grand Forks residents heal

Sgt. Bradley Lowes says the military is used to dealing with traumatic times

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to Canada

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Chilliwack Chiefs make history with first RBC Cup win

In front of a huge and noisy crowd, the Chiefs claimed their first-ever national junior A title

‘Concussion is at the forefront of our thinking’: Rodeo doctor

As in any other contact sport, concussion prevention and treatment efforts continue to evolve

Most Read