The board of Metro Vancouver is expected to support concerns raised by Belcarra Mayor Ralph Drew over the expansion of the Westridge Marine Terminal, as part of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline growth.
At an upcoming Metro Vancouver board meeting, which takes place on Friday, issues over the potential problems of expanding the terminal will be addressed.
Over the past few months, Drew has exchanged emails with the energy company discussing his own concerns of the expansion project, which will be part of the issues raised at the meeting.
“I fully expect the recommendation of the report,” said Drew, “Which is to write Kinder Morgan and also write to the National Energy Board endorsing the concerns that Belcarra has raised, and asking the National Energy Board to address them.”
Concerns over Kinder Morgan come from multiple municipalities
The worries Drew has raised, which include risks to marine life, are shared by many other municipalities in the region.
Westridge Terminal is located in the Burrard Inlet, across from Belcarra, in Burnaby. One Burnaby councillor says the city agrees with Drew’s concerns against the expansion of the terminal.
“We are not only supporting those letters,” said Burnaby Coun. Sav Dhaliwal. “The environment committee at the Metro raised the possibility of producing a staff report to do further analysis.”
Although Drew has spoken out about the potential hazards that expansion may cause, Dhaliwal insists the village isn’t alone.
“We are lending our voice,” said Dhaliwal. “We wanted to stand united in this. The issues that Belcarra has raised are acknowledged by the rest of the Metro Vancouver communities.”
Potential problems with the terminal expansion
Although he supports them, Dhaliwal believes Belcarra has missed a few other potentially important issues.
“I believe the issue is even more serious than raised in the letters,” said Dhaliwal. “I think it was very limiting to the Westridge Terminal and the security around that.”
“It’s very tricky inlet to get ships out of there. These are ocean-going vessels. They are not very clean in terms of its pollution.”
Drew first sent a letter to Kinder Morgan in September highlighting his concerns over available technology, environmental stewardship and emergency response.
“Their emergency response plan is quite lacking,” he said. “There really needs to be a commitment to a minimum response time of one hour.”
On Friday, members of the board of Metro Vancouver will be discussing issues to bring forward to Kinder Morgan together, according to their agenda.
Kinder Morgan was not available for comment.
Reported by Jesse Adamson