Video: Flyover shows route of existing Kinder Morgan pipeline

Ahead of a public consultation this weekend, a flyover video shows where the existing Transmountain line passes through Chilliwack.

As Kinder Morgan prepares its National Energy Board application to install a second oil pipeline beside its existing Transmountain line, the company is offering Chilliwack residents one more chance to voice opinions on the project.

The company is holding an official public consultation for the Fraser Valley this Saturday in Abbotsford. The $5.4 billion Transmountain pipeline twinning project would require major construction through the heart of Chilliwack in the company’s effort to nearly triple its capacity to carry oil from Alberta to the West Coast.

Kinder Morgan gave Chilliwack residents the opportunity to post online comments expressing their concerns about the project from June 18 to July 9, but only a handful of people did so.

An online commentator named JSMontcalmRd, whose house on Montcalm Road is 30 feet from the existing line, wondered what would happen if Kinder Morgan didn’t find an alternative route to tearing up people’s backyards in the effort to install a second line.

Kinder Morgan’s external relations manager Lexa Hobenshield replied that the company is investigating whether it could use B.C. Hydro’s right-of-way north of Montcalm, which would allow the new pipeline to be built farther from homes but nearer to power lines.

A second option is to install the new line with “trenchless” drilling, such as horizontal directional drilling, which involves boring a hole with steerable machines. This would disturb surface soil less, but would still be major construction on the land of some residential homes.

Online opinions on the overall project were divided.

Wrote one user, named Strewth: “I have the pipeline running through the back of my property, 200 meters from my children’s playhouse, and I say go for it. I would love to see the old pipe inspected from the exterior, and a new one laid down.”

Another, named Sdclarke, wrote: “We do not want the pipeline invading where we live! Plain and simple! It’s just greed dictating our future!”

The upcoming consultation in Abbotsford will be on July 20 at Ledgeview Golf & Country Club (35997 McKee) between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.