Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent announced new wastewater treatment regulations at a stop at Metro Vancouver's Annacis Island treatment plant Wednesday.

Kent sees few Northern Gateway lessons from Kalamazoo spill

But federal environment minister agrees older oil pipelines may need safety review

Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent says a damning report on an oil spill from an Enbridge pipeline in Michigan won’t prompt Ottawa to shift its stance on the company’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across northern B.C.

“That was a report on an older generation pipeline,” Kent said Wednesday of the Kalamazoo River spill, where U.S. regulators said Enbridge had years of advance warning but failed to prevent the spill and then failed to shut off the flow of oil for 17 hours after the rupture.

He said pipelines remain the safest way of moving oil and that Northern Gateway, if approved, would be built with state-of-the-art technology and emergency response provisions.

Enbridge is in the midst of National Energy Board hearings on the project to run oil sands crude from Edmonton to Kitimat.

“We’re letting the panel do its job and we’re waiting for the eventual recommendations,” Kent said, speaking at a stop in Delta.

Kent was also asked by Black Press whether the Kalamazoo findings are cause for concern about Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which is nearly 60 years old and increasingly carrying oil sands crude.

“While there have been minor spills in the past with regard to the Kinder Morgan line, it has been operated by the company in a highly responsible manner,” Kent said, adding it’s subject to regular inspection and oversight.

But he added Ottawa is not certain that’s enough.

“(Natural Resources) Minister Joe Oliver has made it quite clear that given the number of recent spills – larger and smaller – that we do need to look at some of the older pipelines and perhaps consider the sort of inspection regimes and precautions and technology that’s in place today as opposed to when the pipelines were put in the ground.”

Kinder Morgan is applying to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline that runs southwest across B.C. and through the Lower Mainland to Burnaby.

Opponents of the new line don’t want to see more oil tankers ply Vancouver harbour.

But some Fraser Valley residents are also concerned, not just about a second line but also for the integrity of the existing one.

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

CRA scam the email edition targeted the Mounties in Chilliwack

Fraudsters claim to be from the Canada Revenue Agency but the CRA never operates this way

COLUMN: Student voices give me hope for the future

Student Caleb Pennington wanted to know why something was taken off the agenda. So he asked.

Chilliwack newcomers celebrate multicultural community

Local Immigration Partnership helping new Canadians and refugees settle into new life

VIDEO: Rubik’s Rumble a hit at Chilliwack middle school

Students fill gymnasium for first annual tournament focusing on popular puzzle toy

VIDEO: Gun enthusiasts fill Chilliwack venue for antique show

Collectors, proud owners and vendors took part in the event that approaches half a century in age

4 facts to ring in St. Patrick’s Day

What do you really know about the Irish celebration?

Experts urging caution as rabbits die by the hundreds in B.C. city

Province of B.C. confirms more positive tests for rabbit haemorrhagic disease

Federal government seeks public feedback on pedestrian safety

What safety measures do you think need to improved for pedestrians and cyclists?

Search continues for 10-year-old Montreal boy missing since Monday

Montreal police said they are exploring every possibility in search for Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou

Airline passenger-rights bill claws back protections for travellers: Advocate

Bill C-49 would double tarmac delays, scrap compensation for flights affected by mechanical failures

Canadian research vessel to explore 19th Century shipwrecks

Commissioned this week in Victoria, the RV David Thompson is Parks Canada’s newest vessel

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

B.C. man to plead guilty in connection with hit-and-run that killed teen

Jason Gourlay charged with failure to stop at the scene of accident, attempting to obstruct justice

Most Read