Pipe is staged for twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline, 2019. (Trans Mountain)

Pipe is staged for twinning the Trans Mountain pipeline, 2019. (Trans Mountain)

COVID-19: Virtual route hearings set for Trans Mountain pipeline

Oral questions, site visits cancelled for 22 B.C. sessions

Detailed route hearings for the B.C. portion of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project are going ahead with written submissions and photos from people seeking changes to the route for the twinned oil pipeline.

Procedures have been changed to carry on with the pipeline hearings in the COVID-19 pandemic, for the project approved by the Justin Trudeau government in June 2019. About 70 per cent of the pipeline’s detailed route has been approved, including the entire Alberta portion from Edmonton to Jasper.

The Canada Energy Regulator said April 21 that 22 active detailed hearings remaining along the route between Merritt and Burnaby, the southwestern portion where the original pipeline has operated since 1953. Pipeline construction in Alberta has been paused during spring breakup with about 25 km of twinned pipe still to be installed in the Edmonton area.

Extensive work continues on Trans Mountain’s Burnaby terminal and tank farm, and the nearby Westridge Marine Terminal that is expanding to accommodate up to three Aframax-class oil tankers at a time.

Detailed route hearings are where a commission determines if a valid statement of opposition is filed “that demonstrates a material change in circumstances related to the best possible route of the pipeline, the most appropriate methods of construction or timing of construction,” the Canada Energy Regulator states on its project website.

RELATED: Trans Mountain pipeline begins work in Clearwater

RELATED: Trans Mountain expansion gets green light – again

There are 18 decisions still to be completed for the Fraser Valley-to-Langley portion of the route, with 20 statements of opposition reviewed and another 15 that were denied. One decision remains to be completed for the Surrey-to-Burnaby section, where 16 statements of opposition were denied and two proceeded to the hearing stage.

There are no statements of opposition still active for the Edmonton-to-Jasper portion, or the Hargreaves-to-Blue River segment after the pipeline enters B.C. from Alberta near Valemount. Blue River to Darfield, past Vavenby, Clearwater and Barriere has no decisions left after two statements of opposition were withdrawn following a commission decision.

Black Pines to Wahleach, designated as section five by the federally owned Trans Mountain corporation, runs from north of Kamloops to the Hope and Chilliwack region. It has nine hearing processes that still require a decision as of April 23.

The Canada Energy Regulator announced March 16 that oral portions of all ongoing public hearings would not would not proceed as planned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Oral cross-examination in the detailed route hearings will be replaced with written information requests,” the regulator said in an April 21 statement. “The changes will allow detailed route hearings to proceed in a fair and transparent manner, while respecting the physical distance requirements for participants.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislatureCoronavirusTrans Mountain pipeline

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Abbotsford’s Willow Video location will be closing at the end of the month. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Abbotsford’s Willow Video closing

Video game, movie retailer closing up shop after more than 20 years

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

A peregrine falcon nest sits atop the walls of a quarry where the owner wants to restart operations. The province has now given permission for the nest to be removed. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

Province says it is satisfied with falcon population estimates and mitigation plans

Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice, shown here with the Fraser Valley Rush, has committed to the MacEwan University Griffins women’s hockey team. (Tiffany Luke photo)
Abbotsford’s Hailey Maurice signs with MacEwan University Griffins

Local women’s hockey prospect set to join women’s hockey team later this year

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

Most Read