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Kinder Morgan cleared to begin Trans Mountain pipeline construction

Published by , Senior Editor
World Pipelines,

Kinder Morgan is cleared to start work on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion despite Burnaby's objections. NEB says its decision allows the company to start work near Westridge Marine Terminal and at Burnaby Terminal.

The National Energy Board issued an order yesterday saying Kinder Morgan Canada's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is exempt from having to comply with two sections of bylaws in Burnaby, B.C., that were standing in the way of the CAN$7.4 billion project. 

The NEB order, which comes three days after the regulator heard the case in Calgary, says the company is not required to comply with two sections of the city's bylaws – which required the company to get preliminary plan approvals and tree-cutting permits – as it prepares to begin construction in the area.

Kinder Morgan had filed a motion to have the NEB overrule the bylaws on a constitutional basis, because it claimed Burnaby was delaying a project approved by the federal government.

"We are pleased with the decision we have received from the NEB today, as it reinforces our view this federally approved Project is in the national interest," Ian Anderson, President of Kinder Morgan Canada, told press in a statement Thursday.

"We're excited to see that it probably means the NEB has accepted our argument that this is a project that's in the national interest. As a result, we can't have individual’s jurisdictions interfering on it," Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Thursday at the Alberta Legislature.

The NEB says its decision allows the company to start work at its temporary infrastructure site near the Westridge Marine Terminal, and some work at the Burnaby Terminal, subject to any other permits or authorisations that may be required.

Kinder Morgan Canada had said the pipeline expansion was already months behind and further delays could threaten the viability of the controversial project.

The City of Burnaby and its mayor, Derek Corrigan, have been vocal opponents of the pipeline and have joined a separate legal challenge in the Federal Court of Appeal that also involves other municipalities, First Nations and environmental groups.

But Mr. Corrigan has also insisted the city has simply followed its normal permitting process. He said the NEB decision was frustrating, but not unexpected.

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