Kinder Morgan’s $6.8-billion Trans Mountain expansion project is running into a new round of opposition this week, with British Columbia Environment Minister Mary Polak and Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan calling on Canada’s National Energy Board to reject or slow down the controversial plan.
In 2012, the B.C. government set five conditions that any oil and gas project would have to meet to gain provincial approval. “The second and third conditions require ‘world-leading’ prevention and response plans if a pipeline fails on land or if oil is spilled into any rivers, lakes, or the ocean,” the Vancouver Sun reports.
“We have not seen the evidence in the hearings to support a conclusion that they’ve met our conditions on two and three,” Polak said this month. “So we won’t be supporting their approval at this time.”
Kinder Morgan has also failed secure significant First Nations support for the pipeline, or to deliver a fair share of its economic benefits within the province. “At this stage,” Polak said, “they have not met any of our five conditions.”
Corrigan, meanwhile, issued a three-page letter this week asking Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to suspend the NEB hearings.
“It is evident that the NEB process is broken, and there is little value in a fact-finding process that has no reasonable prospect for testing evidence,” wrote Corrigan, a vocal opponent of the Trans Mountain project. “We therefore urgently request that you put the current NEB panel review on hold until the new process and a broadened panel have been implemented. We ask that you immediately suspend the current hearings.”
The NEB’s recommendation on Trans Mountain is due to the federal cabinet May 20, the Sun reports.