Native concerns over oil vetted in Canada

Kinder Morgan's oil pipeline focus of aboriginal review.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |   Aug. 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM
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CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 22 (UPI) -- The Canadian government said it set the schedule to hear concerns from the aboriginal community about expansion of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline.

Pipeline company Kinder Morgan wants to spend more than $5 billion to twin the existing pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia. The company said the expansion would at least double the corridor's existing capacity of 300,000 barrels of oil per day.

Advocacy groups and members of the aboriginal community have expressed concern about the potential environmental impact of more oil pipelines to the western Canadian coast. The National Energy Board, a Canadian regulator, said it would hear oral evidence at a Monday hearing in Edmonton.

"The board recognizes that aboriginal peoples have an oral tradition for sharing stories, lessons, and knowledge from generation to generation," NEB said in a statement Thursday. "This information cannot always be shared adequately in writing yet it will make up an important component of the evidence [used to decide] whether or not to recommend approving the project."

Kinder said the existing corridor has been in service for 60 years with few incidents, though about 25 barrels of oil spilled from the system in June 2013.

If approved, the expansion would go into service in late 2017.

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