December 17, 2014 - 9:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - The City of Kamloops has been given the opportunity to question the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion and staff plan to take full advantage of the opportunity.
Noise, influx of workers during construction and impacts on traffic, infrastructure and parks are among the top concerns, along with the possibility of the newly approved emergency water intake system on the North Thompson River potentially being compromised if there’s a leak or spill.
Another concern is the potential strain on health care resources, which are already operating beyond their capacity in the city. In a report to council, Public Works Director Jen Fretz notes the increase in construction workers expected during the 12 to 14 month construction phase would likely place additional demands on local health resources.
It is estimated that up to 800 workers will be brought in during the peak and an average of about 270 workers per month will be in town during the entire construction period. A work camp has not been proposed and Fretz is concerned there could be additional stress placed on local housing and accommodations, especially during the summer months.
Staff have been looking at these concerns since nearly a year ago when the city applied for intervenor status. Intervenor status gives staff the opportunity to question the project as well as cross examine and present their own information. In October, the city was asked which route was preferred through Kamloops — via the Westsyde neighbourhood or through Lac du Bois.
If approved, the expansion will see the capacity of the pipeline system increase to approximately 890,000 barrels of crude oil per day, nearly triple the current 300,000 barrels of crude oil transported daily. The company hopes to begin construction in 2016 and be in service in 2018.
The proposed expansion includes about 29 kilometres of pipe constructed within city boundaries, as well as an upgrade to the existing pump station at 2355 Trans Canada Highway in the southwest area of the city. It is expected the expansion will result in 11 road crossing within the city, from the Westsyde area to Airport Road to Highway 1.
The city has until mid-January to submit a written request for information to the National Energy Board in relation to the project. Kinder Morgan then has until mid-February to reply, though Fretz expects most responses to simply acknowledge the concerns and state the information will be provided at a later date.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014