Opinion

Editorial — Keep Langley in the pipeline loop

One week before Christmas, Kinder Morgan Canada formally applied to build the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project.

This project will have a big impact on Langley, as it is in this community that the twinning of the pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby will end. A new pipeline route to the oil terminal in Burnaby will veer off the existing right-of-way somewhere near Fort Langley.

Kinder Morgan has been making significant efforts to explain details of the project to interested people, and in November a number of Kinder Morgan officials were in Langley to speak at the Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce meeting. They spoke about the general project, but also spent quite a bit of time explaining the local impact of the pipeline.

The National Energy Board has now given  initial approval to Enbridge to build the Northern Gateway project,   but it still has many hurdles to overcome. Opposition to the pipeline, a new project that would end at a shipping facility in Kitimat, is fierce and it is very likely that it will be tied up in court for years, given the scope of First Nations opposition.

That means that there will be plenty of pressure to build the Kinder Morgan project, which has fewer environmental concerns. The company has also been working intensively to consult First Nations groups who are affected by the pipeline.

Kinder Morgan needs to keep concerns that have already been raised by Langley residents in mind as it moves ahead with its application to the NEB. It also needs to keep the communication  lines open.

There will be oil transported to B.C. ports — by pipeline or rail. If it is going to happen, it needs to happen in the safest manner possible.

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