Map of Kinder Morgan's existing Trans Mountain pipeline through Chilliwack.

Map of Kinder Morgan's existing Trans Mountain pipeline through Chilliwack.

Kinder Morgan hosted closed Chilliwack stakeholder meeting

Kinder Morgan unveiled its preferred route for twinning the existing pipeline in Chilliwack on same day as holding a closed consultation.

Although the route hasn’t been finalized, Kinder Morgan prefers to have its proposed second pipeline, as part of the $5.4 billion expansion project, follow closely alongside the existing Trans Mountain line.

The results of the company’s corridor study in Chilliwack and other communities were released Tuesday, and indicate a marked preference for following the existing line nearly exactly. This line cuts through the centre of Sardis, passes underneath Watson elementary’s schoolyard, and crosses the Vedder River.

The only proposed alternative route curves around Tzeachten first nation land at Stevenson and Vedder Roads, and another section of reserve land at Banford and Prairie Central Roads.

Although Kinder Morgan seeks to avoid creating additional rights-of-way, it is still evaluating the route along Montcalm Road and Canterbury Drive for alternatives in order to prevent major disruptions to residential pipeline landowners.

Also on Tuesday, the company hosted a closed stakeholder consultation in Chilliwack. The 16 attendees represented the City of Chilliwack, Fraser Valley Regional District, Pipe Up Network, B.C. Wildlife Federation, and others.

Media were not permitted. Feedback from the meeting will form part of the company’s facilities application in late 2013.

Michael Hale, a member of Pipe Up, participated in the workshop on Tuesday.

“The format of the workshop was markedly different than the information sessions put on by Kinder Morgan in various communities along the pipeline last fall. Kinder Morgan was listening,” he wrote in an email.

Protection for the Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park, and local aquifers and water sources, formed two of the concerns at the workshop, according to Kinder Morgan.

Other major concerns, as documented by Hale, were air emissions from tanker traffic, impact of spills on schools that sit atop the pipeline, impact on land values, the protection of endangered species’ habitats, impact on agricultural lands, and risk of seismic activity.

Kinder Morgan also opened the floor to considering community-based projects that could mitigate the effects of installing a second pipeline, such as habitat restoration along the right-of-way, building trails, and compensating affected schools.

This workshop is the first time that the company has discussed its plans with the community since hosting information sessions in fall 2012, and speaking at a Fraser Valley Regional District meeting this April.

There are no public consultations scheduled for Chilliwack.

Kinder Morgan solicits feedback to its proposed route online until July 9, at www.transmountain.com.

akonevski@theprogress.com
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