Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The planners of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline in Canada called for federal intervention in order to proceed with expansions in the face of city-level appeals.
The City of Burnaby, British Columbia, in December filed an appeal in federal court against the approval of Kinder Morgan's plans to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline network, tripling its design capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. The city said it and its residents are "extremely concerned" about the risks from "dangerous" tar sands oil, the 13 new "high-risk" storage tanks in its community and the increase in oil tanker traffic along the western Canadian shore.
Trans Mountain planners, in a notice published late Thursday, called for intervention from the National Energy Board and the federal government.
"After many months of working in good faith to obtain municipal permits from the City of Burnaby without success, we are asking the NEB to allow us to go ahead with work under the terms and conditions of the applicable certificate and NEB orders," planners said in their appeal.
The NEB in early September said it was satisfied with the environmental plans outlined by Kinder Morgan to expand a port in British Columbia to handle the new volumes from Trans Mountain. Later that month, however, the regulator said it completed a pre-construction audit and found planners haven't yet laid out plans regarding safety and environmental protection during the build process.
Trans Mountain planners last month withdrew a request for relief from measures that prohibit spawning deterrents along the pipeline's path. According to advocacy group WaterWealth, pipeline developer Kinder Morgan "was caught" putting fences into waterways that prevented trout and salmon from spawning, in violation of NEB conditions.
The project is part of a national effort to tap into markets outside North America as nearly all of Canada's oil exports go to the United States. Nearly all of the oil that Canada exports heads to the U.S. market and existing pipeline infrastructure means Canada is relatively landlocked to North America.