Work on a previously twinned section of the Trans Mountain pipeline in Jasper National Park.

Province demands better answers from pipeline firm

NEB asked to order 'full and adequate' responses from Kinder Morgan

The province has filed a motion with the National Energy Board asking it to compel Kinder Morgan to provide “full and adequate” responses to questions about its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

The demand is one of a series of similar requests of the NEB after Kinder Morgan responded to a series of first-round information requests by various intervenors in the project review.

The province submitted more than 70 requests related to maritime and land-based spill response, prevention and recovery systems.

But the government says Kinder Morgan’s failure to provide sufficient information in the responses means B.C. can’t fully understand the risks posed or judge whether the project would meet B.C.’s condition of world-leading spill response systems.

According to the provincial filing, Kinder Morgan refused to release its Emergency Response Program, citing its confidential and sensitive contents.

That could instead be treated as a confidential filing, the province argued, if the NEB decides it can’t be safely put on the public record.

But the province indicated it may argue against confidentiality, citing a federal government pledge for more transparent pipeline safety regulations that ensure that companies’ emergency and environmental plans are “easily available to the public.”

“The province is not able to prepare questions for the second round of intervenor information in the absence of adequate responses to the requests filed for the first round.”

B.C. also wants the NEB to extend its Sept. 11 deadline for intervenors to file second-round information requests, saying it’s “impossible” to file meaningful follow-up questions by then, even if Kinder Morgan provides more information in the meantime.

The unanswered provincial requests include that Kinder Morgan provide a detailed list of all spills from its pipelines over the past 30 years.

The province also asked if the company would commit to automated pipeline shutdown within 10 minutes if a suspected leak identified by the control centre can’t be ruled out within that time.

Green Party MLA Andrew Weaver, who submitted nearly 500 questions, is among other intervenors who have filed similar motions.

“Many of the answers I received are simply unacceptable,” Weaver said. “They are refusing to consider any oil spill larger than a small fraction of a tanker’s cargo, and basing their oil spill analysis on a response capacity that simply doesn’t exist.”

More than 10,000 questions were submitted in the first round of information requests.

Since the process bars oral cross-examination in upcoming hearings, intervenors will have only have one more chance to pose written questions.

Chart of unanswered provincial requests by Jeff Nagel

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

Just Posted

Advocates call safe drug supply a victory but worry about logistics in pandemic

Pandemic contributes to scarce supply, advocates worried about potential impact on the streets

Greater Victoria survey shows third of respondents did not pay, or partially paid rent for April

Survey of 70 respondents says 40 per cent expect they will not be able to pay May rent

City of Victoria looks to shift tens of millions in 2020 budget due to COVID-19

Mayor Lisa Helps offers her daily municipal, provincial and federal updates

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

BC Transit extends free fare, installs vinyl barriers in some buses

Free fare will now be offered until April 30

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

75-year-old woman rescued from Cowichan Lake

Victim taken to hospital, but expected to recover

Not to become bored the game plan for COVID-19

Board game with an Island map developed by Island family just the remedy for filling time at home

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Most Read