The battle between the City of Burnaby and Kinder Morgan over the extension of the Trans Mountain pipleline is heating up after municipal officers issued stop work orders to crews surveying the pipeline's proposed route under Burnaby Mountain on Tuesday.

Energy giant Kinder Morgan wants to bore a hole under the mountain in the Vancouver suburb of Burnaby to Burrard Inlet as part of a proposal to nearly triple the capacity of the existing pipeline, but the city has vowed to block the project however it can. 

Parkcrest, Burnaby, British Columbia, with Burnaby Mountain in the distance

This photo shows the neighbourhood of Parkcrest in North Burnaby, with Burnaby Mountain in the background. (Flying Penguin/Pacific Spirit Photography/Wikimedia Commons)

The two-kilometre section though the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area would link the Burnaby Terminal and the Westridge Marine Terminal.

The company says the new route would minimize traffic disruption during construction and avoid four privately-owned properties.

Yesterday, crews showed up with chainsaws with the intention of removing a rotten tree,  but were stopped by city officials who issued to stop work orders based on conservation bylaws.

The city say Trans Mountain may have a right to be on Burnaby Mountain but they don't have the right to cut trees in a conservation area

But Trans Mountain Pipeline spokesperson Ali Hounsell says the National Energy Board has already ruled that the company has the right to access the area and conduct the survey work.

"We are committed to persevering with the work that we need to do that we believe has been authorized by the National Energy Board. We are consulting our legal counsel to determine next steps," said Hounsell.

"It's the kind of work we have been doing for the last year and a half...all up and down the proposed pipeline route from Edmonton to Burnaby."

Hounsell says crews will be back on Wednesday, but won't do any clearing until they are given the green light.