Pipeline surveying work begins
Kinder Morgan began its surveying work at Burnaby Mountain on Wednesday, only days after the National Energy Board ruled the company didn't need permission from the City of Burnaby to access city land.
A team of three fisheries biologists wearing hip waders scurried along the banks of Stoney Creek in Eastlake Park taking measurements and logging flora. They also placed small traps into the water to take a census of minnows and other creatures living in the creek.
The surveying work is being done to support the company's application to the NEB to run its expanded Trans Mountain pipeline to the Westridge terminal through Burnaby Mountain.
Carey Johannesson, the pipeline project's lead for land and right-of-way, said geotechnical surveying would begin Thursday. That involves clearing a path along the route the pipeline will pass through Burnaby Mountain so seismic lines can be placed for geologists.
Crews will also have to drill into the mountain from two locations. One drill rig will be mounted on a truck while another will have to be constructed on the mountainside, another bone of contention with the city, which needs to issue permits for that construction to proceed. A helicopter staging area would also have to be built on city land.
The City of Burnaby recently filed a constitutional challenge, saying the NEB can't override provincial laws and municipal bylaws.
Johannesson said the company is still trying to work with the city to address its concerns.
"When you do a project of this nature, you know there's going to be all kinds of different opinions about the project," he said. "We're looking at it from the perspective that it's a national project. There's going to be a full opportunity for people, including the City of Burnaby, to make presentations and to provide information to the board."
An observer from the city was on hand Wednesday to watch the work going on in Stoney Creek.
Johannesson said the surveying work will be taking place over the next couple of months, and then again in the spring. He said Burnaby Mountain is the last major piece of the pipeline's route from Alberta that still needs to be assessed to satisfy the NEB's requirements for its application to build the pipeline.
"We're still quite a ways away from a decision," he said.