Alternate pipeline route has its detractors

News that a proposed oil pipeline could be diverted through the Redwoods Golf Course in Walnut Grove has some local residents concerned.

Eric Bickle, whose house borders the west side of the golf course, told the Monday (Feb. 3) Township council meeting that shifting the Kinder Morgan pipeline through Redwoods would affect over 280 properties.

“The route being studied would have a direct impact on the quality of life for the affected homeowners,” Bickle said.

“Property values will decrease, and many homes could be as close as 20 metres to the pipeline.”

Bickle said the Township of Langley, as the legal owner of the golf course,  should work with Kinder Morgan to make sure any pipeline through Redwoods is kept “well away” from Walnut Grove homeowners.

In a letter to council, Bickle said a map shown at the Jan. 13 council meeting shows the line could run along the western border of the golf course, which “could result in Kinder Morgan performing industrial construction work in dozens and dozens of back yards to perform the necessary slope remediation work and tree removal.”

At the January meeting, Greg Toth, senior project director for Kinder Morgan, said the company is considering two alternatives, both of which would avoid a stretch of farmland near the Salmon River by taking a a “jog” through the Redwoods Golf Course.

“We are in dialogue with the golf course,” Toth said.

While Kinder Morgan plans to build most of the pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby alongside its existing Trans Mountain pipe line, it proposes diverting from the original route just south of Fort Langley, near the Belmont Golf Course, to avoid twinning the pipeline through Walnut Grove.

Trans Mountain runs 1,150 kilometres from Edmonton along Highway 16 through Jasper National Park, then southwest along Highway 5 to terminals at Kamloops, Sumas, and Burnaby.

The pipeline supplies crude oil to Chevron’s Burnaby refinery and the Westridge Marine Terminal, where ships carry crude to California, the U.S. Gulf Coast and Asia.

A branch line from Sumas supplies refineries at Anacortes, Ferndale and Cherry Point in Washington state.

- with files from Black Press

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