Hearings begin over Trans Mountain pipeline routeSource: Mountain West News
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Municipalities and residents in British Columbia are set to argue that the proposed route of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion would damage sensitive ecosystems, harm public parks and trails and adversely impact homeowners.
Burnaby will present for three days at the hearings, saying in a statement it will demonstrate the “significant and unacceptable” financial, environmental and social risks of the company’s proposed route through the city.
“Because of the damage and disruption it would cause to the city and Metro Vancouver’s environment, economy and neighbourhoods — in perpetuity — the City of Burnaby is determined to ensure that this route is never approved,” said Mayor Derek Corrigan in the statement.
The Government of Canada approved the 1,147-kilometre pipeline project in November 2016 along a roughly 150-metre wide corridor. The detailed route approval process will determine the exact placement of the new pipeline.
People who anticipated their lands may be adversely affected by the route were able to file statements of opposition. The National Energy Board began holding hearings on the route in late November and has approved some segments in eastern B.C. and Alberta.
The hearings starting Monday cover a hotly contested Metro Vancouver portion of the route. Several residents and a land-surveying company are scheduled to speak at a Burnaby hotel over eight days, before a second set of hearings is held in March.
In documents filed with the energy board, Burnaby says the proposed route passes through conservation areas and parks that provide critical green space and extensive trail systems to the public. Significant amounts of trees and vegetation would be removed and sensitive creek and river ecosystems would be impacted, the city says.