City of Port Moody not satisfied over pipeline response

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[Another municipality declares itself to be dissatisfied enough with the NEB review process to actively oppose the Trans Mountain pipeline: "of the 2,400 follow-up questions filed by various intervenors... the NEB ruled that Trans Mountain would have to respond to just 107 questions, rejecting 93 per cent of the requests." Where is Christy Clark hiding in all this? *RON*]

Jeremy Deutsch, Tri-Cities NOW, 9 January 2015

The City of Port Moody submitted 163 questions during the first round of information requests related to the Trans Mountain pipeline project , but found the responses to be "inadequate."  Photograph By NOW file
The City of Port Moody may consider ways to stop the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project, after receiving what it calls an "inadequate" response to questions.

For several months, the city has been taking part in the National Energy Board (NEB) pipeline project hearing process as an intervenor. While the intervenor status has allowed the municipality to ask questions of Trans Mountain related to the project, what it got back in return wasn't what it expected.

According to a city staff report, Port Moody submitted 163 questions during the first round of information requests back in May, but found "Trans Mountain's responses to the first round of information requests to be inadequate, with responses failing to provide the information being requested."

The city sent the NEB a letter identifying its concerns.

The report also noted that of the 2,400 follow-up questions filed by various intervenors, including Port Moody, the NEB ruled that Trans Mountain would have to respond to just 107 questions, rejecting 93 per cent of the requests.

The report prompted local politicians at this week's committee of the whole meeting to refer the matter to the city's Environmental Protection Committee (EPC) to generate alternate ideas to prevent the Trans Mountain Pipeline Project from being completed.

The resolution still has to be approved at a future council meeting.

Coun. Robert Vagramov, who brought the motions forward, said it's "unbelievable" that 93 per cent of information requests were duplicates or irrelevant.

He suggested Port Moody's hands might be tied in this case and acknowledged the city might not be able to stop the project.

"At the very least [we're] raising awareness or highlighting the fact the NEB process is not working for Port Moody," he told the Tri-Cities NOW.

Coun. Rick Glumac said he was frustrated to hear the city hasn't received adequate answers from Trans Mountain and the NEB process wasn't helping to get those answers. He said he also doesn't have confidence the process will lead to a fair decision about the pipeline.

"The process, to me, seems like it's flawed from the beginning," Glumac said. "You start questioning the process when you're not getting the answers you believe you should be getting."

He also suggested referring the matter to the EPC gives the group a chance to come up with ideas on how the city should respond.

The city is currently preparing its submissions for the second and final round of information requests to the NEB, due by Jan. 16.

In 2012, the city passed a resolution opposing more tanker traffic in Burrard Inlet. Kinder Morgan is proposing a $5.4-billion expansion of its 1,150-kilometre oil pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby.

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