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Kinder Morgan oil pipeline meeting in Chilliwack Thursday

Kinder Morgan has proposed a twinning, and a tripling of capacity, of its 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain oil sands pipeline, which runs through Chilliwack. - Kinder Morgan
Kinder Morgan has proposed a twinning, and a tripling of capacity, of its 1,150-kilometre Trans Mountain oil sands pipeline, which runs through Chilliwack.
— image credit: Kinder Morgan

Chilliwack residents have a chance to ask questions of Kinder Morgan staff Thursday night at an open house dedicated to the route of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project.

Kinder Morgan filed its application with the National Energy Board (NEB) in December for the $5.4 billion, 1,150-kilometre oil pipeline twinning project. If approved, the project will increase the 60-year-old pipeline's capacity from 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 890,000 bpd.

The company has said it intends to build the second pipeline in the existing right-of-way wherever possible and practical, but there are a few exceptions.

Areas of concern or where there are questions include: the Cheam Lake wetlands, the Vedder River, residential areas in Sardis, and two schoolyards.

The Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) has expressed concern over Kinder Morgan's plans to consider running the new pipeline under what a senior staffer calls the Stanley Park of the community—Cheam Lake Wetlands Regional Park.

Critics of the pipeline expansion project have also pointed to its proximity to Watson elementary and Vedder middle schools.

As for the Vedder River, the company has said it "can be protected through horizontal directional drilling; and Fraser Valley agricultural resources can be protected during construction."

Along Montcalm and Canterbury in Sardis, the current pipeline runs under residential backyards. The company is searching for alternatives to constructing through residential areas.

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project open house focusing on "optimization of the proposed pipeline corridor" runs from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Chilliwack Coast Hotel (45920 First Ave.).

For more information on how to provide feedback, visit talk.transmountain.com.

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