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Pipeline meeting in Abbotsford

On Wednesday, groups lobbying against the expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Pipeline will rally support in Abbotsford.

The Wilderness Committee is teaming up with Tanker Free BC and the PIPE UP Network to host a town hall meeting on Aug. 15 at the University of the Fraser Valley auditorium,  33844 King Rd. in Abbotsford, at 7 p.m.

A Wilderness Committee press release calls the meeting "part of an effort to foster local engagement and rally residents across the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley in opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion."

Kinder Morgan is planning to twin the oil pipeline that runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, increasing capacity from 300,000 to 750,000 barrels per day.

The pipeline runs through Abbotsford, where there is a Sumas Mountain tank farm and terminal facilities.

"Expansion would mean digging up lands, damming rivers and disturbing major community infrastructure. It would also double the risk of a tar sands spill and increase the number of supertankers coming in and out of Vancouver, putting ecosystems and local businesses at risk while entrenching a tar sands-dependent export economy," said the release.

The meeting is a chance for local residents to learn more about the proposal, address their concerns and connect with other groups and citizens participating in the debate.

Speakers will include Ben West of the Wilderness Committee, Sven Biggs of Tanker Free BC, Eddie Gardner representing the Stó:lō Nation, Lynn Perrin of the PIPE UP Network and Rueben George from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation.

Kinder Morgan will file its expansion application with the NEB in late 2013, which will include a potential corridor. If given the go-ahead, then the company would come up with a detailed route which would go through its own NEB approval process.

If it receives all the required approvals, Kinder Morgan will spend $4 billion and two years building the expansion, which would then go into service in late 2017.

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