LETTER: Pipeline must be routed away from Chilliwack drinking water source

A spill would have environmental, health consequences, says letter writer

I’m writing as a concerned citizen of Chilliwack regarding twinning the pipeline route. I want to be clear that I am not against the pipeline, just the route over Chilliwack’s main water source and aquifer. I believe the elected officials of the City of Chilliwack have a responsibility to all the residents who live here and depend on clean, drinkable water. Keeping our main water source safe should be a top priority.

I understand that constructing another pipeline next to the existing one would be easiest and would allow engineers to observe the 66-year-old pipeline firsthand and allow for repairs. At the same time, this pipeline was built long ago when Chilliwack was a much different place. I strongly believe that the pipeline route must be changed. This is a public safety issue.

There is an extreme safety difference between the current pipeline and the products it carries, and the new pipeline and the diluted bitumen it will be carrying. Dilbit is not crude oil; it is bitumen from Alberta’s oilsands mixed with hydrocarbons such as propane, butane, pentane or other hydrocarbons with additional carbon atoms. This mixture is what allows the bitumen to flow through the pipeline. It may also contain hydrogen sulphide, methyl and ethyl, as well as benzene, toluene and ethylbenzene. This combination is hazardous, extremely flammable and carcinogenic. Our first responders are not prepared for this type of spill, and research is still being done on how to clean up such a disaster and determine possible environmental and health consequences.

In many other communities, the twinning pipeline route is being changed to avoid developed and populated areas. This needs to happen in Chilliwack. The pipeline must be routed away from the city’s drinking water source, residential areas and schools to protect residents and our main water supply.

T.L. Kline

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

Just Posted

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Birds were saved but the buildings on Castleman Road were destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

PHOTOS: Moving day for 110-year-old Chilliwack heritage house

House-moving company relocated Hope River Road home to Riverside Drive

UPDATE w/ PHOTOS: Chilliwack fire crews tackle vacant house fire on Rowat Avenue Friday

Empty house was boarded up and behind fencing on lots slated for redevelopment

VIDEO: Chilliwack chicken barn destroyed by fire

Chickens saved from blaze as firefighters work to control large fire

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

UPDATE: Police have Maple Ridge hotel locked down

A large contingent of Mounties are at the Art Infiniti Hotel on Lougheed Highway

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Plainclothes Abbotsford police officer deletes cellphone video after drawing gun on innocent man

‘They never asked me what I was doing there, strictly came out with guns, threatening to shoot me’

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for Aug. 7

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Construction underway on Langley’s new hospice residence

The new 15-bed facility is slated for completion in summer 2021

Most Read