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NEB rejects Burnaby's request to halt Trans Mountain work at pipeline terminals

Last Updated Jan 17, 2019 at 7:05 pm PDT

FILE: Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Expansion Project's oil storage tank farm, at right with green tanks, is seen in Burnaby, B.C., on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016. Desjardins are ending their moratorium on pipeline lending and will continue to support the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Summary

The National Energy Board has ruled Trans Mountain is allowed to continue construction work in Burnaby

The City of Burnaby argued construction should halt pending re-approval of the Trans Mountain expansion project

NEB says Trans Mountain can work on pipeline relocation to "optimize the site," and allows tree-clearing to go ahead

BURNABY, B.C. (NEWS 1130) — The National Energy Board has come down on the side of Trans Mountain in a dispute with the City of Burnaby over whether the company can continue construction work at the two terminals in the city.

The City of Burnaby argued that Trans Mountain should not be allowed to continue construction after the court quashed the approval for the Trans Mountain project, but the NEB says the two orders granting approval are not associated with the expansion. The NEB argues that Trans Mountain should be allowed to continue work on the site as it prepares to offer new services to shippers, which includes clearing trees on the property.

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Burnaby, however, argued the two orders previously approved should be cancelled as they are based on the approval of the now-quashed pipeline expansion project, and construction shouldn’t go ahead until plans for the expanded tank farm are complete. The City of Burnaby has been a long-standing critic of the pipeline project, which includes building an expanded facility at the tank farm on Burnaby mountain the Westridge Marine Terminal.

The authorizations referred to allow for Trans Mountain to do piping modifications at the Burnaby Terminal, which the NEB says is necessary to “optimize the site in preparation to offer new services to shippers.” Tree clearing has also been permitted.

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NEB has allowed the construction to go ahead, saying the new piping will “improve the integrity of the Burnaby Terminal.”

But Burnaby argued that Trans Mountain should not go ahead expanding the facility on hypothetical future approvals of the pipeline, as the entire pipeline expansion project is still being reconsidered.

Trans Mountain argues work necessary for now-quashed pipeline expansion project

On Jan. 25, 2017, Trans Mountain applied to relocate pipes at the terminal on Burnaby mountain. In the application, the company said it needed to relocate piping and other infrastructure “to allow for the construction of tanks and associated infrastructure as part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.”

The company argued the delivery lines had to be relocated because they “would otherwise interfere with the construction of TMEP.” It also says the facility piping “would otherwise be in the way of the construction of TMEP tanks and associated infrastructure, and require removal or relocation.”

That order allows for the company to build an 832-metre Suncor delivery line, and two tank lines, each 295 and 93-metres long.