The completion date for the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion through Langley has been revised from December, 2019 to September, 2020, according to a Township staff memo.
The project — which will see 19.7 km of pipeline installed in the Township — is part of Kinder Morgan’s $7.4 billion twinning of its existing Trans Mountain Pipeline from Edmonton to Burnaby. The pipeline was approved federally in late 2016 (subject to 157 conditions), and the B.C. the government issued an environmental certificate in early 2017 (subject to 37 conditions).
In Langley, the proposed route for the pipeline will travel 12.1 km along the existing corridor, with 7.6 km along a new path through Redwoods Golf Course to 96 Avenue, and west to Surrey along the CN Railway corridor.
Two contractors have been selected to perform the work: SA Energy Group from 232 Street east to the Township border, and Kiewit-Ledcor Trans Mountain Partnership, from 232 Street west to the municipal border.
Preliminary work was originally scheduled to start in the fall of 2017, with construction beginning in 2018. The project has been delayed in part by landowners who have filed statements of opposition with the National Energy Board (NEB), according to the memo.
These landowners include the Township, which filed two statements of opposition — one on May 9 regarding Township owned lands, and another on Aug. 4 regarding Township road allowances.
“The NEB cannot approve construction in the Township until they have reviewed all statements of opposition and conduct detailed route hearings if the statements meet the requirements of the National Energy Board Act,” the memo states.
The NEB is already reviewing statements of opposition and scheduling hearings, however a timeline for when that happens in Langley has not been given.
So far the Township has “not consented nor issued any permits for the construction of the TMEP across any Township owned roads, utilities, or lands; and will consider options after the detailed route hearing process has concluded, which may result in additional NEB orders,” the memo says.
The Township has some environmental concerns as well, and staff members have been meeting with Trans Mountain through Technical Working Groups to discuss them. Some of these issues include: Trans Mountain’s designation of vulnerable aquifers; the types of crossings being proposed for fish bearing watercourses; post-construction erosion along Nathan Creek; and the number of trees to be cut down in the temporary work areas.
The memo also notes that Trans Mountain filed a notice of motion with the NEB on Nov. 14 about municipal permits. The company says that some jurisdictions appear to be using the permitting process to impede the project’s progress.
“Staff will continue to work with legal counsel to consider whether to respond or provide comments to the recent Notice of Motion and prepare for the Township’s detailed route hearing should one be granted by the NEB,” the memo states.