Tsleil-Waututh reject National Energy Board conditions for Kinder Morgan

Tsleil-Waututh continue anti-pipeline project stance

The Tsleil-Waututh Nation says it is standing firm in opposition to Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project, despite a list of recommendations from the National Energy Board.

The NEB released the list of 145 draft conditions that Kinder Morgan must agree to before the company’s application can proceed any further in the process, last week.

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The conditions target environmental, safety, administrative and business-related concerns raised in the application as-is.

Among the things Kinder Morgan must supply: An air emissions management plan for the Westridge Marine Terminal, a socio-economic effects monitoring plan, a groundwater seepage management plan, a Westridge Marine Terminal offshore geotechnical report, updated terminal risk assessments, secondary containment systems in the event one of the tanks starts leaking, plans for aboriginal group participation in construction monitoring and wildlife species at risk mitigation and habitat restoration plans.

None of the conditions reference climate change although there is a required emissions offset plan for the project’s construction.

The conditions do little to assuage the concerns of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation whose traditional land is directly across from the terminal.

“I’m taking a look at all 145 conditions and, honestly, they don’t change anything for the Tsleil-Waututh’s view on opposing expansion,” said Tsleil-Waututh council member Charlene Aleck. “It looks like a lot of oversight but there’s nothing that has any teeth on any of our concerns.”

The Nation has been working on its own assessment of the project, and the NEB’s conditions don’t go far enough, Aleck said. “If you look at the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s assessment, we’ve done a holistic approach and looking at the livelihood of the people directly affected — (people) rely on the water, the life that happens there, the culture and traditional practices, our neighbours, the animals, birds, the shellfish and the salmon runs. I don’t see any of that in the conditions and that’s what we really hold high in our hearts.”

In response to the draft conditions, Kinder Morgan Canada president Ian Anderson issued a statement the following day. “Our initial review of the draft conditions is that they are rigorous but achievable.

We will be providing further comments and will be seeking clarification particularly as to the timing of certain conditions and required approval processes when we file our comments on Aug. 20, 2015.”

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