Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Questions Kinder Morgan on Trans Mountain Spill Prevention, Response Regime

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

B.C. Questions Kinder Morgan on Trans Mountain Spill Prevention, Response Regime

Article excerpt

B.C. has questions on Trans Mountain

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VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government has questions for Kinder Morgan about the proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline through the province.

After reviewing the company's application to the National Energy Board, the province submitted 70 requests Monday for more information on oil spill prevention and response plans on land and at sea.

"Our staff have reviewed the overall application from Kinder Morgan," Environment Minister Mary Polak said at the legislature.

"What they have done is identified any gaps in information, places where they don't believe the information from Kinder Morgan is complete or gives us sufficient information to determine whether or not we can support the project."

Under revised federal rules, the province and hundreds of other interveners will not be allowed to directly cross-examine company experts on their testimony at the review hearings. Instead, they must submit information requests in advance.

Andrew Weaver, a climate scientist and Green MLA, submitted close to 500 questions to the panel. He's worried about marine oil spills.

"I am very concerned about the evidence used to justify Kinder Morgan's assertion that it can deal with a heavy oil spill," Weaver said.

"As we saw with the Northern Gateway hearings there simply has not been adequate research on how heavy oil behaves in a marine environment, or if it is even possible to clean it up."

The province officially opposed the Northern Gateway pipeline at federal review hearings. The panel later recommended approval, with 209 conditions.

The $5-billion expansion of the Trans Mountain line would almost triple the capacity of the pipeline linking the Alberta oil sands to Port Metro Vancouver.

Like the Northern Gateway proposal, the province said the Trans Mountain pipeline must meet five conditions, including an undefined "world-leading" oil-spill regime. …

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