An oil tanker being loaded at Westridge Terminal at the end of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline in Burnaby.

Province green lights Kinder Morgan pipeline, reaches benefits deal

Environmental certificate comes with conditions in addition to those set by the National Energy Board

The B.C. government has given the green light for Kinder Morgan Canada’s Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion and reached an agreement on a fair share of benefits for the province.

Premier Christy Clark now says all five of its conditions for a new heavy oil pipeline have been met or are being satisfied.

Clark said Wednesday an agreement reached with Kinder Morgan will provide investment worth up to $1 billion, consisting of annual payments to the province of $25 to $50 million for 20 years. The resulting “Clean Communities” fund will be available to community groups for protecting and enhancing the environment.

Clark emphasized that the decision was federal, and B.C.’s job was to fight for the best deal possible.

“The Trudeau government were the ones who approved it,” Clark said. “They did it based on science.”

Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson said his company has also committed to a “B.C. first” policy for hiring and contracting for construction, operation and maintenance of the twinned pipeline.

Trans Mountain has also committed to provide tugs to escort tankers further along their route through the Southern Gulf Islands as far as Race Rocks, plus $150 million to double spill response capacity in the Salish Sea, and cut response time by half.

Aboriginal opportunities were another B.C. condition, and the company has 41 signed benefit agreements with First Nations worth more than $350 million.

Other marine spill commitments include assurances of unlimited funds for spill liability, and a $1-billion cleanup fund, in addition to extensive federal improvements through its Ocean Protection Plan.

The announcement came after Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman issued an environmental assessment certificate to Trans Mountain Pipeline. The B.C. conditions include wildlife protection, further consultation with aboriginal communities and emergency response.

The province’s 37 conditions contained in the environmental assessment certificate are in addition to the 157 federally set conditions that were contained in the National Energy Board’s approval.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the federal government’s approval for the project Nov. 29, declaring it good for Canada, and “safe for B.C.”

The B.C. government was required to conduct its own environmental assessment after a court ruling that it could not delegate that authority to Ottawa.

The $6.8-billion pipeline twinning from northern Alberta to Burnaby would triple Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day, and result in a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through Vancouver harbour.

The project faces a series of legal challenges from aboriginal groups, environmentalists and municipalities.

Unlike the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across northern B.C., which was rejected last year by the federal government, the Trans Mountain pipeline largely follows an existing route that has carried oil for more than 60 years.

NDP leader John Horgan said he will “do everything I can between now and election day” in May to stop the project from going ahead, because there is too much risk from shipping diluted bitumen from the Alberta oilseeds.

Bitumen has been shipped intermittently through the TransMountain pipeline since it became available in the late 1980s, either for overseas shipping or refining at facilities in Washington and California.

 

Just Posted

North Island College to offer free menstrual products

NIC and North Island Students’ Union partnering on the initiative

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘optimistic’ about Bamfield road upgrades

Premier John Horgan travelled Bamfield Main to Anacla

Premier John Horgan stops in Port Alberni

Horgan headed to Bamfield to discuss road improvements

CMHA Port Alberni to launch community clean-up crew

CMHA received a $51,500 grant from city

Hotel California tribute band stops in Port Alberni

Eagles tribute band brings rock and roll classics to ADSS Theatre

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Most Read