Chilliwack, BC – On the heels of the collapse of the Aevitus Waste Treatment Facility comes word that this Tuesday, May 19, 2015, Chilliwack City Council will consider participating in Kinder Morgan’s Community Benefits Program. Should Council resolve to accept the proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Trans Mountain Pipeline LP, (TMP) it will indicate a willingness to receive community funding if the pipeline project receives approval from the National Energy Board (NEB).
Such a resolution would not indicate support for the pipeline project and Council will remain committed to working with the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) to continue to ensure the concerns of residents are addressed. The City will provide direct comment to the National Energy Board on the Kinder Morgan proposal. In addition, as a participating member of the FVRD, Chilliwack is able to confirm that concerns over emergency response, environmental mitigation, air shed quality, and the protection of ecological diversity are addressed.
As an intervenor, the FVRD acts as an additional safeguard and has the opportunity to ensure that the Region’s interests are protected as much as possible should the project move forward.Kinder Morgan’s Community Benefits Program provides investment in local communities along the proposed pipeline route. This program is an acknowledgement and thanks in advance for people’s patience as some construction disruption will occur should the pipeline project receive approval.Many communities from BC and Alberta have already accepted MOUs from TMP. Should Council decide to participate in the Community Benefits Program, the City of Chilliwack will receive funding to be used towards a park or trail project.The project earmarked for these funds is a new pedestrian bridge, adjacent to, or attached to, the Southern Rail Bridge across the Vedder River. This bridge would connect the Vedder north and Vedder south trail networks and would ultimately allow the complete looping of the Vedder Greenway trail networks. Although such a bridge is noted in the Vedder Greenway strategic plan, it is not funded within the next 20 years due to its high cost. The total project is estimated to cost $1 million. Should funding be received the bridge project could potentially see construction in 2017.The NEB is currently reviewing the Trans Mountain pipeline project and is expected to publicly announce a final decision in spring 2016.