Pipeline construction on Trans Mountain line twinning, already completed in Alberta. (Kinder Morgan Canada)

B.C. seeks court ruling on new pipeline regulations

Province wants to require permits for any new bitumen transport

The B.C. government is applying to court to see if it can impose new environmental permits on inter-provincial projects such as the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The new permits would be required by any company seeking to increase transport of bitumen through B.C., by pipeline, rail or truck. Existing shipments, such as diluted bitumen sent down the original Trans Mountain pipeline, would not be subject to the new rules.

Premier John Horgan’s government switched to the reference case option after Environment Minister George Heyman’s January proposal to consult the public on new regulations triggered an angry reaction from Alberta. Premier Rachel Notley ordered wine shipments from B.C. stopped and insisted that B.C. has no constitutional right to interfere with the twinning of the 64-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline to the B.C. coast.

“We have asked the courts to confirm B.C.’s powers within our jurisdiction to defend B.C.’s interests, so that there is clarity for today and for generations to come,” Horgan said.

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson said the government’s submission makes no reference to existing bitumen transport, or to tankers, over which the province now admits it has no jurisdiction. The court reference is “a sham,” part of a strategy to drag out opposition for as long as possible, Wilkinson said.

Lawyers for the B.C. government filed an application in the B.C. Court of Appeal Thursday seeking a ruling on a new set of regulations. It would require anyone increasing bitumen shipments above the 2017 level to provide a spill response plan and guarantee the financial ability to clean up a spill.

Lawyers for B.C. will argue that the province has already imposed regulations on federally regulated pipelines and rail lines, requiring them to get a permit before applying herbicides on their rights-of-way. B.C.’s Environmental Management Act has also been used to regulate composting facilities, including those on federal land.

Alberta and the federal government, which have insisted the Trans Mountain project will be completed even if they have to provide financial backing, are expected to be represented in the latest court case.

Alberta and Saskatchewan governments have also proposed legislation to regulate inter-provincial trade in petroleum products, which Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has indicated may be used to restrict refined fuel shipments to B.C.

Just Posted

U.S. mayor and dying dog’s roadtrip to Victoria goes viral

First vacation in three years came a month after blood cancer diagnosis

$136M in transit funding coming to B.C.

The announcement was made at the BC Transit yard in Langford on Friday morning

‘Good Samaritan’ honoured for saving man from capsized canoe

BC Ambulance Service said Rob Clifford’s actions saved man’s life in December 2017 incident

Canada has enough pipelines to get the moon

Pipelines totalling 840,000 kilometres run across Canada

Early morning crash on Royal Oak overpass

Emergency crews remain on scene and traffic expected to be affected

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

B.C. to fund gender-affirming surgeries for transgender people

Roughly 100 people in B.C. travel each year out of province for lower surgeries

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 14

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Have BC Ferry waits ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Federal fall update expected to offer more support for struggling news industry

Ottawa committed $50 million over five years for local journalism in ‘underserved communities’ last budget

UK’s May appeals to public on Brexit, braces for more blows

British Prime Minister Theresa May answered questions from callers on a radio phone-in, the day after she vowed to stay in office

VIDEO: Stan Lee leaves posthumous message for his fans

Marvel Comics’ co-creator died on Monday at the age of 95

Ottawa apologizes to Japanese family in B.C. after chopping historic cherry trees

Plaque installed in Prince Rupert to honour the memory of Shotaro Shimizu

Two B.C. police officers, held in Cuba for months, cleared of sex assault allegations

Port Moody Const. Jordan Long and Vancouver Const. Mark Simms have been in Cuba since March

Most Read