Kinder Morgan slammed for 'accidentally' omitting oil pipeline maps in federal application

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[Parliament asked to require Texas company to "re-start" its application after it neglected to upload oil pipeline maps to NEB website for people to see. By the way, in case you've forgotten the previous name of Kinder Morgan, they used to be the people that everyone loved to hate at Enron! *RON*]

Mychaylo Prystupa, Posted: Feb 25th, 2014, The Vancouver Observer

Kinder Morgan was harshly criticized in the House of Commons Tuesday for not filing a complete application with maps for its Edmonton-to-Burnaby oil pipeline -- a project that may disturb dozens of homes through several B.C. cities, depending on the path.

“These are people in charge of a $5 billion construction project, and they ‘forgot’ to include their maps? Absolutely extraordinary,’" Kennedy Stewart told the Vancouver Observer on Tuesday.

“It’s a 150 metre-wide corridor going through the city."

The Texas-headquartered company admits in a new letter that it accidentally could not upload the pipeline maps due to a technical glitch.

"It appears that during the upload of the electronic files, the maps...were inadvertently attached in a file size that exceeded the NEB’s 5MB file size limit and were therefore not uploaded to the NEB’s regulatory document repository," wrote Kinder Morgan Canada's vice president, Scott Stoness on Friday.

Hard copies of its pipeline maps were provided to the National Energy Board last December in its massive application -- a stack of 37 binders, 2 metres (7 ft.) in height.

But critically, Stewart said, online copies were not available during the entire four-week period that ended Feb.12 when the public was applying to participate in the upcoming NEB hearing into the project.

"After the participation process is closed they say ‘whoops – we forgot to include the maps’ – that’s absolutely Keystone Cops," said Stewart.

Consequently, Stewart asked Parliament on Tuesday to force Kinder Morgan to re-start its application.

The government did not respond to his statement in the House, and today, the NEB rejected Stewart's request to re-open the company's application process.

Confusing matters further for residents, the company is still posting on its own website a variety of options for its pipeline in Burnaby -- including a "select" corridor and a "study" corridor.

The company states that homes will not be expropriated, but it can apply to obtain "right-of-entry" for lands that it needs to alter.

"A key objective is to treat each landowner fairly and equitably," states its website.

Of concern to many, including citizen groups and First Nations, is the pipeline may also approach drinking-water aquifers, schools and homes.

It’s not clear if the company also erroneously did not provide the online maps for areas near Kamloops, Merritt, Hope, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, and Surrey.

Stewart further wrote in a letter to the NEB, that both it and the Kinder Morgan failed to "adequately inform the public about the project."

The regulator has not yet responded publicly.

Pipelines pushed

Speeding up the approvals for pipelines to get land-locked oilsands bitumen to tidal waters has been a top priority for the Harper government. It recently passed a law to expedite hearings that allow the public to comment on proposed projects.

Federal Natural Resource Minister Joe Oliver on Vancouver's waterfront

Conservative Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver wrote in an open letter in 2012 that "environmental and other radical groups" were using regulatory hearings to frustrate and cause unnecessary delays.

"These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda. They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects," wrote Oliver.

2,000 applications to participate in the Kinder Morgan hearing were received by the NEB, prior to the now expired Feb.12 deadline.

Registered to submit letters or act as intervenors are: 15 cities, hundreds of citizens, business groups, environmental advocates, community groups, scientists, and First Nations from Alberta, B.C., and Washington.

Minister Oliver recently mused that global warming was no longer a concern.

"I think that people aren't as worried as they were before about global warming of two degrees," he said.

Trans Mountain pipeline - photo by Ian Stephen