National Energy Board advisers have been harshly criticized by a lawyer for the City of Surrey as hearings on the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion began this morning in Burnaby, B.C.

Anthony Capuccinello opened the proceedings by repeating Surrey's firm opposition to Kinder Morgan's $5.4-billion expansion plan for its Alberta to B.C. pipeline.

He said Surrey wants Kinder Morgan to decommission and remove the part of its line running below that suburban Vancouver city, and he slammed NEB advisers for what he calls the lack of expertise revealed in draft conditions for expansion approval.

His comments came as First Nations and environmentalists gathered outside, demanding Prime Minister Justin Trudeau act on an election promise to fix what they call the flawed process of NEB hearings.

Ecojustice lawyer Karen Campbell says public faith in the energy board is at an all time low and the Trudeau administration must quickly undo changes imposed by the former Conservative government.

Hearings on the pipeline expansion continue in Burnaby until the end of the month and conclude in Calgary in mid-February.