British Columbia

'I want the whole thing scrapped': NEB hearings on Kinder Morgan's proposed pipeline route resume

Arguments over proposed route of Kinder Morgan pipeline resume at a National Energy Board hearing on Tuesday.

National Energy Board will hear from dozens of stakeholders who oppose the route of the proposed pipeline

Dozens of stakeholders have been speaking out against the proposed route of the Kinder Morgan Transmountain Expansion project at hearings in front of the National Energy Board. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

David Huntley isn't picking up any good vibrations.

The 81-year-old is one of more than a dozen speakers who are raising concerns about the proposed route of Kinder Morgan's Transmountain Pipeline Expansion project at ongoing hearings in front of the National Energy Board.

The hearings are set to resume Tuesday — but Huntley says he's been chasing down the oil company for answers since he found out the proposed route would run just metres away from his home on Burnaby Mountain.

"When they're drilling the tunnel, there will be vibration," he said. "What I want to know is whether I will feel anything of that vibration at my house. The answer at his point is not clear."

David Huntley, 81, fears the vibrations from the construction of the Kinder Morgan expansion project will have an adverse effect on his health. ( RunningOnClimate/YouTube)

The retired Simon Fraser University physics professor claims vibrations from nearby construction has had adverse effects on his physical and mental health in the past, and dreads more of the same from the pipeline twinning project.

Of course, he admits the bad vibrations are just the tip of the iceberg.

"I want the whole thing scrapped," he said, pointing to environmental risks of increased tanker traffic, potential oil spills, and greenhouse gas emissions. "It's part of a crime against humanity."

Hearings resume

The controversial $7.4-billion Trans Mountain expansion project, which would nearly triple the capacity of the pipeline system running from Alberta to B.C.'s southern coast, is facing significant scrutiny from the many B.C. environmentalists, Indigenous groups and governments that oppose it.

The long list of stakeholders speaking out against the project in the latest hearing includes the cities of Burnaby and Coquitlam, as well as homeowners who fear the proposed route will drag down their property values.

However, some opponents have since withdrawn from the proceedings because their concerns have been addressed.

Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver (HHGV) had initially filed a statement of opposition because pipeline construction would affect a green space that borders 27 of its townhouses in Burnaby.

Director of Operations Stephani Baker said members of the group initially feared construction would cut through a popular children's walking trail to a nearby elementary school and result in a loss of green space.

Representatives from Kinder Morgan met with Habitat for Humanity Greater Vancouver in an arbitrated meeting to discuss concerns over the project. (Erin Collins/CBC)

But after an arbitrated meeting in December, she said Kinder Morgan addressed all its concerns, including committing to add an alternate path for children to walk to school, said Baker.

She admit some neighbourhood residents still aren't happy about the project.

They are concerned about how close the pipelines will be to homes, fearing emissions and spills, she said.

While HHGV has officially withdrawn from the hearings, Baker says the interests of many of its members will be represented by the City of Burnaby.

The NEB's decision following the route hearings isn't expected until spring.