Planners for the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline are trying to reassure residents of a Surrey, B.C., neighbourhood they don't have any plans yet to dig up their yards and lay down a crude oil pipeline.

It was about six weeks ago that land agents showed up in North Surrey, asking residents if they could take soil samples.

A short while later, residents were given maps that showed a second option for the pipeline route. The residents were told Kinder Morgan is considering an alternate route for the pipeline that would run right through their properties.

Instead of running under industrial land along the South Fraser Perimeter Road near the Fraser River, the pipeline would cut through their properties.

But the project director says the company isn't trying to pull a fast one on people who live in Fraser Heights. Trans Mountain Project director Greg Toth says that's just a back-up plan.

"We need to have an alternative that we can fall back onto, and that's really the exploration of the Surrey Fraser Heights."     

Expanding concerns

The alternative route proposal doesn't just have an impact on people in Surrey.

Earlier this week the City of Burnaby sent a letter to the National Energy Board, which is reviewing the project application, saying it lacks critical details concerning the route and the emergency response plan.

Langley farmer Byron Smith says the route will cut through his farm and he's concerned because his land is on a flood plain.

"That makes for a spill to be catastrophic.  It would contaminate all of the local farmland, and that's one of the big, big concerns."

Project spokespeople will be on hand to answer questions at three upcoming public hearings on the proposal in Chilliwack, Langley and Burnaby.

With files from Jesse Johnston