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How much responsibility falls on Burnaby to protect residents near tank farm?

Last Updated Jun 6, 2019 at 11:56 am PDT

A aerial view of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain marine terminal, in Burnaby, B.C., is shown on Tuesday, May 29, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward)

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – If the Trans Mountain expansion goes ahead, Burnaby’s mayor wants to make sure people living near the tank farm will be safe.

He’s not saying how much responsibility falls on the city, given it ultimately approved the housing nearby, but Mayor Mike Hurley is asking the federal government to pay for pipeline protection should the expansion move forward.

When the tank farm opened in 1953, there wasn’t much development around. Now, however, there are homes as close as 100 metres to the site.

“I don’t know that it’s acceptable — these decisions were made a long time ago, and, I guess at that time, maybe expectations weren’t as high as they are now,” he says. “We have a much better understanding today of the effects of what a boil over would mean at that tank farm, and how big a fireball can be created if things went completely wrong there.”

In his opinion, it’s the city that may have made the wrong decision when it approved the farm years ago.

“Certainly I would have a lot of doubts about approving something so close to the tank farm,” he says.

Hurley believes the risk will at least triple if the pipeline expansion goes ahead.

The Liberal MP for the area — Terry Beech — was not made available for an interview.