An oil tanker docked and boomed off at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.

An oil tanker docked and boomed off at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.

Delta terminal for Trans Mountain oil pipeline was studied, rejected

Kinder Morgan pans idea from Alberta premier Rachel Notley for new Trans Mountain pipeline route ending in Tsawwassen

A suggestion from Alberta Premier Rachel Notley that the proposed Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion be rerouted to a new terminal such as Tsawwassen is being dismissed by Kinder Morgan Canada.

Notley told a conference in New York that the project might have a better chance of success if the company would “be creative” and develop a new tanker port rather than sticking with the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, where opposition has been intense.

The Alberta premier backs the $5.4-billion Trans Mountain project and has said she wants at least one “drama-free” pipeline built to carry oil to new markets.

Kinder Morgan previously studied possible alternate locations for the terminal, including Roberts Bank in Delta, as well as sites in Washington State, but ruled them out because of significantly higher costs and environmental impacts, and regulatory issues in the case of a U.S. location.

Developing a Roberts Bank site north of Deltaport would add $1.2 billion to the cost of the current proposal, according to a Trans Mountain filing with the National Energy Board in 2014.

It would require a seven-kilometre trestle extending into the Strait of Georgia to support pipelines and a roadway, and100 acres of land for petroleum storage tanks.

Kinder Morgan assumed Westridge and the existing pipeline to Burnaby would continue to operate in order to serve the Chevron refinery there, as well as a jet fuel pipeline to YVR airport.

The Tsawwassen area terminal would avoid crossing the Fraser River and traversing some densely populated areas, but the pipeline would be 14 kilometres longer.

Much bigger oil tankers holding nearly three times as much oil could come to the new terminal off the mouth of the Fraser River because they would not be limited by the depth of Burrard Inlet.

“The ability to service larger tankers is a key benefit of locating a tanker terminal at Roberts Bank,” said the filing.

It cautioned that while bigger tankers would mean fewer sailings and less probability of an oil spill, any that did occur might be larger.

Kinder Morgan spokesperson Ali Hounsell said the company is confident expanding the existing terminal is the best option.

“Given the current terminal’s proximity to the existing pipe, its proximity to a working harbour with spill response resources and well-established tanker transit routes and protocols, we feel Westridge terminal is the safest location that will also result in the least environmental impact.”

Delta South independent MLA Vicki Huntington denounced Notley’s suggestion of a new terminal, which Burnaby politicians have also raised before.

“Delta’s foreshore is a completely inappropriate location for the Kinder Morgan terminus, and would put the most valuable ecological habitat in Canada at risk,” Huntington said. “The Fraser River delta is an internationally significant area for millions of salmon and shorebirds.”

The project would nearly triple the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline to 890,000 barrels a day and result in a seven-fold increase in tankers plying Vancouver harbour.

Oral hearings before the NEB were to begin last month but have been on hold while Trans Mountain resubmitted evidence.

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

Just Posted

LEFT: Krista Macinnis, with a red handprint across her face that symbolizes the silencing of First Nations people, displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
RIGHT: Abbotsford School District Kevin Godden says the district takes responsibility for the harm the assignment caused.
Abbotsford school district must make amends for harmful residential school assignment: superintendent

‘The first step is to unreservedly apologize for the harm … caused to our community’: Kevin Godden

Chilliwack School District school bus outside Sardis elementary on June 11, 2014. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
COVID-19 exposures on three school buses in Chilliwack

Exposure dates range from Nov. 13 to 19, according to letters sent out by Fraser Health

File photo
Outdoor recreation generates close to $1 billion annually in Fraser Valley: report

Camping, hiking and sportfishing generate the most spending, report finds

Chief Robert Gladstone of Shxwha:y Village at a federal flood funding announcement April 24, 2019. (Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress file)
Consortium of Indigenous chiefs seeking a way to participate in cannabis economy

All Nations Chiefs from the Shxwha:y, Cheam, Soowahlie and Sq’ewlets holding online forum Dec. 2

The Santa Photos event will not continue at Highstreet Shopping Centre after Fraser Health asked organizers to suspend the event after new restrictions. (Highstreet photo)
Santa Photos at Abbotsford’s Highstreet Shopping Centre event suspended

Fraser Health Authority asked Highstreet to suspend event following new restrictions

Mary Cox and Jack Plant dance in their pyjamas and slippers at the morning pyjama dance during the Rhythm Reelers’ 25 Annual Rally in the Valley Square Dance Festival in Chilliwack on June 4, 2011. Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 is Square Dancing Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Nov. 29 to Dec. 5

Square Dancing Day, Disability Day and International Ninja Day are all coming up this week

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

Elissa McLaren broke her left elbow in the Sept. 20, 2020 collision. (Submitted)
Surviving victims of fatal crash in Fraser Valley asking for help leading up to Christmas

‘This accident has taken a larger toll financially, mentally and physically than originally intended’

Chilliwack school trustee Barry Neufeld (left) and former BCTF president Glen Hansman (right).
BC Court of Appeal left to walk tightrope of freedom of expression in Neufeld-Hansman case

Is defamation lawsuit aimed at stifling free expression or does the defamation hinder free speech?

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

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

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Most Read