Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Detailed route hearings for plans to expand the Trans Mountain crude oil pipeline in Canada are scheduled in British Columbia in early 2018, a regulator said.
The National Energy Board said it scheduled two hearings for February for segments of the Kinder Morgan project. So far, the NEB said it's received 22 statements in opposition to the segments in question following 20 hearings.
"Approximately 93 miles of detailed route plans within segments 3 and 4 that were not opposed by landowners or affected persons have now been approved by the NEB," the regulator stated. "Prior to beginning construction in these areas, the company must satisfy all applicable NEB pre-construction conditions."
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 October called for NEB intervention in moving on construction there "under the terms and conditions of the applicable certificate and NEB orders."
When Kinder Morgan cleared project hurdles in late 2016, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson said it was a "big step backward" for the environment and the economy. Last month, he said Vancouver was on pace to become powered entirely by renewable energy by 2050.
The NEB approved of Kinder Morgan's plans in late 2016, though vetting is still under way for some aspects. The project is part of a national effort to tap into markets outside North America.