Pipe is staged for twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline, 2019. (Trans Mountain)

COVID-19: Virtual route hearings set for Trans Mountain pipeline

Oral questions, site visits cancelled for 22 B.C. sessions

Detailed route hearings for the B.C. portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project are going ahead with written submissions and photos from people seeking changes to the route for the twinned oil pipeline.

Procedures have been changed to carry on with the pipeline hearings in the COVID-19 pandemic, for the project approved by the Justin Trudeau government in June 2019. About 70 per cent of the pipeline’s detailed route has been approved, including the entire Alberta portion from Edmonton to Jasper.

The Canada Energy Regulator said April 21 that 22 active detailed hearings remaining along the route between Merritt and Burnaby, the southwestern portion where the original pipeline has operated since 1953. Pipeline construction in Alberta has been paused during spring breakup with about 25 km of twinned pipe still to be installed in the Edmonton area.

Extensive work continues on Trans Mountain’s Burnaby terminal and tank farm, and the nearby Westridge Marine Terminal that is expanding to accommodate up to three Aframax-class oil tankers at a time.

Detailed route hearings are where a commission determines if a valid statement of opposition is filed “that demonstrates a material change in circumstances related to the best possible route of the pipeline, the most appropriate methods of construction or timing of construction,” the Canada Energy Regulator states on its project website.

RELATED: Trans Mountain pipeline begins work in Clearwater

RELATED: Trans Mountain expansion gets green light – again

There are 18 decisions still to be completed for the Fraser Valley-to-Langley portion of the route, with 20 statements of opposition reviewed and another 15 that were denied. One decision remains to be completed for the Surrey-to-Burnaby section, where 16 statements of opposition were denied and two proceeded to the hearing stage.

There are no statements of opposition still active for the Edmonton-to-Jasper portion, or the Hargreaves-to-Blue River segment after the pipeline enters B.C. from Alberta near Valemount. Blue River to Darfield, past Vavenby, Clearwater and Barriere has no decisions left after two statements of opposition were withdrawn following a commission decision.

Black Pines to Wahleach, designated as section five by the federally owned Trans Mountain corporation, runs from north of Kamloops to the Hope and Chilliwack region. It has nine hearing processes that still require a decision as of April 23.

The Canada Energy Regulator announced March 16 that oral portions of all ongoing public hearings would not would not proceed as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Oral cross-examination in the detailed route hearings will be replaced with written information requests,” the regulator said in an April 21 statement. “The changes will allow detailed route hearings to proceed in a fair and transparent manner, while respecting the physical distance requirements for participants.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirusTrans Mountain pipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

Anne Marie Sam seeks NDP nomination for Nechako Lakes riding

She also ran in 2017 but was defeated by BC Liberal John Rustad

Reserve a gym spot online with the Houston Leisure Facility

The online system is another step to make things easy during the pandemic

Bulk water, sewage project gets council’s approval

Facility to service large-scale users

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

March to protect old growth, stop industrial logging coming to B.C. Legislature

Organizers say they want to give frontline communities a bigger say in nearby logging

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

‘Not criminally responsible’ hearing slated for man convicted of Abbotsford school stabbing

Gabriel Klein was found guilty in March of killing Letisha Reimer, 13, in 2016

Most Read