By October 27, 2017 Read More →

Kinder Morgan appeals to NEB after Burnaby denies permits

Kinder Morgan

Kinder Morgan says that every month the Trans Mountain pipeline project is delayed costs the company $35 million. Trans Mountain photo.

Kinder Morgan looking for construction approval

Kinder Morgan is appealing to the National Energy Board for construction approval after the city of Burnaby denied the company permits for its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The City of Burnaby has been a prominent opponent of the project and the stalled permit process is adding more hurdles to the $7.4 billion project.

The company said in a statement that it is also asking the NEB to create a process that would make an “expedited determination” for such instances in the future.

Kinder Morgan argues that such a process would prevent construction delays in the future.  The company has scheduled the pipeline to go online December 2019.

Michael Davis, Kinder Morgan Canada’s vice president for operations wrote in an affidavit filed with the NEB that each month the project is delayed directly costs the pipeline company $35 million and deprives it of over $90 million in revenue.

Neither the office of the Burnaby mayor, nor the NEB responded for Reuters’ requests for comments.

CBC News spoke with Nigel Banks, the chair of natural resources law at the University of Calgary on Thursday.  Banks said Kinder Morgan has a valid argument because the project has been approved by the federal government.

Based on Canadian constitutional law, Banks said that should conflict arise between federal approval and a provincial law or municipal bylaw, the federal law will prevail.

“I think we’ve always known that this would be a long battle,” he told CBC. “The city and the municipalities, NGOs and the First Nations were not going to simply take it as a given that this project was a go-ahead, but would continue to fight it every step of the way.

“So people have said, ‘well yes, this project has been approved, but it’s going to be death by a thousand cuts from here on in.'”

Kinder Morgan agrees, saying the City of Burnaby’s decision to deny permits raises issues of jurisdiction.

Environmental and Aboriginal groups have filed for a judicial review that may overturn the pipeline’s approval by the federal government.

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