A ship receives its load of oil from the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project's Westeridge loading dock in Burnaby

Kinder Morgan pledges to protect against spills

Kinder Morgan says $100-million investment will protect against oil spills

  • Jun. 4, 2015 8:00 p.m.

By Laura Kane, The Canadian Press

BURNABY, B.C. – Kinder Morgan is pledging to protect against any threat of oil spills caused by its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, as opposition to the project mounts in British Columbia.

The energy-shipping giant showed off its marine and storage terminals in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, detailing new safety measures it is promising to introduce if the $5.4-billion expansion is approved.

Senior director of marine development Michael Davies said Western Canada Marine Response Corp., the agency responsible for spill cleanup, will invest $100 million in new equipment.

Davies said the agency — which is 50 per cent owned by Kinder Morgan — will acquire five new bases along the tanker route and add 100 new jobs if the National Energy Board approves the expansion.

“I think they’re a good organization today, and they exceed all the requirements set by Transport Canada,” he said. “Looking forward, if the expansion proceeds, we’ll see an enhancement of their capability.”

Kinder Morgan hopes to triple the bitumen-carrying capacity of its existing Trans Mountain line by laying almost 1,000 kilometres of new pipe between Edmonton and Burnaby. The expansion would increase the number of tankers in Burrard Inlet to 34 per month from five.

The City of Vancouver and North Vancouver’s Tsleil-Waututh First Nation submitted critical expert evidence to the energy board last week that concluded the project would significantly raise the risk of spills. The Metro Vancouver regional council has formally opposed the project, and released a report concluding a major spill could expose up to 1 million people to toxic benzene fumes.

While Davies said Kinder Morgan is still reviewing the reports to see if the evidence is credible, the company has proposed several safety measures to minimize any threat.

New spill-response bases would be located at ports in Delta, Nanaimo, Sidney, Sooke and Ucluelet, he said. The $100-million investment is being paid for by a fee charged by Trans Mountain to shippers.

He also said that new rules would require tugs to stay with vessels for greater distances and pilots to remain on board longer.

On Thursday, a California-bound tanker picked up heavy oil from the Westridge Marine Terminal and left with two tugs tethered to it. A large containment boom is built around the dock.

The expansion proposal includes three new berths, additional delivery pipelines, a system to treat cargo vapours and a new fire protection system.

At the nearby Burnaby Storage Terminal, there are already 13 massive tanks storing petroleum and the company hopes to build another 14.

The National Energy Board is expected to make a decision in January 2016. Davies said while there is some opposition from interveners, there is also “a lot of support.”

“The project is about providing access to west coast markets for Canadian petroleum,” he said. “It’s something that’s important for Canadian oil production, which is an important part of the Canadian economy.”

— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

VIDEO: Taking to the skies to protect moose in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Conservation Officer Service doubles patrols to oversee moose harvest

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

Getzlaf lifts Ducks to 4-3 win over skidding Canucks

Vancouver now winless since Nov. 8

Pressure builds for B.C. to recognize physicians assistants

“We can make a difference and I think we’re being overlooked.”

Senators urge Trump to expedite congressional vote on USMCA

The 12 Republican senators are warning of the dangers of getting the trade pact approved in 2019

Bill just one tool to deter foreign interference in Canadian elections: Gould

Bill C-76 is just one means to deter outside interference in Canadian elections

Investigation into B.C. legislature officers began in January

RCMP brought in months after former prison administrator started

Legal challenge filed over high-stakes competition to design $60B warships

The federal government had originally said it wanted a “mature design” for its new warship fleet, which was widely interpreted as meaning a vessel that has already been built and used by another navy.

‘There has to be accountability’: victims of sterilization demand action

Morningstar Mercredi says she woke up from a surgery at 14 and immediately broke down when she discovered the baby she once felt inside of her was gone.

Former B.C. crime reporter pens debut children’s book

Thom Barker channels his giant dog’s phobias into theme exploring critical thinking

Most Read