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Editorial — Langley Township needs to be an intervenor
Langley Township council should have no hesitation in registering as an intervenor in the National Energy Board hearings on the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
Some members of council may think this indicates that the Township is opposed to a new pipeline. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Registering as an intervenor means that the Township will have a say in the project before it is built. The Township is crucial to the new pipeline. The new pipeline will divert from the existing route to a new one within Langley, and there is a strong possibility that the new pipeline could be built through the Township-owned Redwoods Golf Course.
Langley Township council is elected to make decisions and show leadership on land use and community building. While the Township has no power over rezoning land for a pipeline, a new pipeline will have a tremendous effect on property owners whose properties it will cross.
If there are any problems with oil spills, there will be even more effects — on streams and the underground aquifers that many rural residents (and the Township itself) depend on for water.
Oil from Alberta will make its way to market somehow, and it seems likely that the Kinder Morgan-owned Trans Mountain line will be approved and built. It makes far more sense for the Township to take an active part in the discussion about this pipeline while it is under consideration than to react later, if there are any problems.