MAP: Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline route section between Burnaby and Langley

The City of Burnaby, B.C., is coming out swinging at plans to twin the Trans Mountain Pipeline, saying Kinder Morgan's expansion plan lacks critical details, including a safety plan and a clear route through the city.

Greg McDade, the city's legal counsel, has sent a letter to the National Energy Board, which is reviewing the project, asking for the application to be rejected.

The pipeline company has applied for approval to triple the capacity of the 60-year-old pipeline, which carries crude oil from Alberta, under the City of Burnaby and several other Lower Mainland municipalities, to a tanker terminal on the shore of Burrard Inlet.

McDade says one major concern is the $5-billion expansion plan doesn't address major safety issues.

"What would happen in the event of a fire? What would happen in the event of a leak? There seems to be a suggestion that the City of Burnaby and its fire department and police department can take care of all those things."

No details about new route

McDade also says people have been misled to believe that the pipeline will follow the existing route, but that is not the case.         

"There is a very strong misconception out there because Kinder Morgan keeps telling the public that they're going along the right of way."

"But in Burnaby that's not true. Less than ten percent of the right of way they propose for the new pipeline in Burnaby is going along the existing route. The other 90 percent is new."

McDade notes it's very unclear where the new sections of pipeline will go and the city needs more details.

"There are two choices, and they call them study corridors. But in a major city a little more precision is absolutely required," he said.

"It seems they are not sure how and where they're going to go, and that makes it impossible for Burnaby to really respond to this."

Public mislead about safety record, says mayor

Mayor Derek Corrigan said the company has also misled the public on their safety record.

"They’re telling our citizens that they have operated the pipeline safely for 60 years, in spite of the fact that there has been more than one spill in Burnaby -- the most recent of which, in 2007, devastated a Burnaby neighbourhood and damaged Burrard Inlet habitat with a mere 1,500 barrels of oil," said Corrigan.

"We do not ever want to have to deal with the consequences of the kind of spill this new pipeline and the new storage tanks could cause.”

In 2007 an excavator working on a sewage line pierced a pipeline, releasing more than 250,000 litres of crude oil. About 70,000 litres flowed into Burrard Inlet, sparking a $15-million cleanup.

Two contractors and Trans Mountain Pipeline, eventually plead guilty to a 21-count indictment in B.C. Provincial Court.

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Kinder Morgan's existing pipeline from Strathcona County, Alta., to B.C. terminates in Burnaby, B.C. Here, one of its customers, the Chevron refinery, turns crude and synthetic oils, condensate and butanes into barrels of gasoline, diesel and jet fuels, asphalts, heating fuels, heavy fuel oils, butanes and propane. (Andy Clark/Reuters)

With files from the CBC's Meera Bains