Chilliwack – In January 2018, the City of Chilliwack participated in the Kinder Morgan route realignment hearing as an intervenor, presenting evidence against the proposed realignment to the National Energy Board (NEB).
Since the beginning of the process, the City invested significant staff time and resources to participate in the NEB hearings. Concerns about the protection of the Sardis-Vedder aquifer and Chilliwack’s natural areas were presented by the City repeatedly.
There are eight wells in the Sardis-Vedder aquifer, which provide clean drinking water to the residents of Chilliwack. The City presented evidence at the NEB realignment hearing that the pipeline reroute would be within or very near the City well capture zone, meaning that spills and leaks from the pipeline could flow into those wells within 126 days of an initial leak. Despite knowing this, Kinder Morgan has not supplied adequate information about the steps they will take to ensure the City’s drinking water will remain safe and clean.
The April 2018 report from the NEB confirms that the expected burden of the Chilliwack realignment compared to the approved TMEP corridor includes a slightly higher probability that oil from a pipeline leak or spill that makes its way to the groundwater would then make its way to the City water wells.
“I was disappointed to learn of the National Energy Board’s decision to approve the Kinder Morgan route realignment in Chilliwack, especially given the probability that oil from a leak could make its way to our water wells,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “We presented compelling evidence at the National Energy Board hearing in January as an intervenor and will continue to make our case at every opportunity, including the detailed route hearings in September.”
“I would like to thank everyone in Chilliwack that has joined us in fighting to protect the Sardis Aquifer and Browne Creek Wetlands. Drinking water is one of our most valuable resources and ensuring its protection remains a top priority,” said Mayor Gaetz.
The City of Chilliwack will participate in the detailed route hearings in September 2018, and Council will discuss additional options moving forward.