Why Was Kinder Morgan Allowed Onto FVRD land?

By April 10, 2013Letters, Pop Voice

Th Fraser Valley Regional District granted permission to Kinder Morgan, owners and proponents of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline, to three parcels of FVRD land.

Lynn Perrin expressed her concern in a letter to the Chilliwack Times and to Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz, Chair of the FVRD. Acting CAO Suzanne Gresham replied on Gaetz’s behalf.

From Lynn Perrin
As some of you are on the FVRD and the Abbotsford-Mission Water and Sewer
Commission I thought this letter would be of interest to you. The current
(and proposed expansion) pipeline transports toxic diluted bitumen over
the Abbotscford-Sumas aquifer which the Bevan Well source for drinking
water in Abbotsford.

I am extremely disappointed that the FVRD passed a motion to allow the
survey for the pipeline expansion through Cheam Lake Wetlands immediately
after upgrading it from P2 to P1 agenda item 7.5 Mar 26, 2013.

Chilliwack Times

I have emailed to following request to Sharon Gaetz and Patricia Ross on
Apr 3 – no response to date.

FVRD Chair and Co-Chair;

The online communication from Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain LLP or an FVRD
staff report in Fraser Valley Regional District Board of Directors Meeting
Mar, 26, 2013 agenda did not include any report whatsoever.Therefore,
please provide me with any and all background documents with regard to:

9.5 Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project–
Request from Kinder Morgan to Conduct Survey Work on FVRD Held Lands
THAT in accordance with the National Energy Board Act
, the FVRD Board authorize it s signatories to execute
Consent Ag reements with Kinder Morgan with respect to 3 parcels of land
held or owned by the FVRD in Electoral Area D for the purpose of
conducting non -intrusive survey and field work associated with a corridor
study being undertaken by Kinder Morgan with respect to
the Trans Mountain Pipelilne Expansion Project; said lands being:
“Nature Trust Lands” held for park purposes (PID 011
Lands commonly referred to as the “Flebbe property” (PID 011
-260-068); and
Lands being used as a “pathway” (PID 025
– 259 -202)

• Comment by staff

I am copying this request for documents to Ecojustice as they assisted
with the access to documents in the matter of the Stave Lake P3 in-camera
Abbotsford- Mission Water and Sewer Commission 2011 meeting minutes.
Ecojustice has represented Burnaby resident / intervenors in the Kinder
Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project NEB Part IV Toll hearing.

Lynn Perrin BGS MPP
FairAll Consulting

Reply From Suzanne Gresham

Dear Lynn Perrin,

I am writing on behalf of FVRD Board Chair Sharon Gaetz with respect your email to her dated April 2, 2013 and the e/mail that has been forwarded to me as of yesterday’s date in this same regard also set out below. While the Board is of course aware of the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, and associated environmental concerns and considerations that have been raised regarding this project, I need to emphasize the fact that the FVRD Board has not yet made any determination, or taken any position as to whether the Board does or does not support the proposed Project. The Board will be having that discussion in due course.

With respect to the issue around the Board’s most recent resolution authorizing entry onto the 3 parcels of land held by the FVRD, I can confirm that the FVRD was recently approached by Kinder Morgan on the question of whether we would voluntarily consent to non-intrusive entry onto the 3 parcels of land in question so that Kinder Morgan could undertake survey work associated with a proposed corridor study they are undertaking – they are looking at possible looping alignments should this project be eventually approved by the National Energy Board. This matter was brought to the attention of the Regional and Corporate Services Committee on March 12, 2013 for information and staff were asked to provide the Board with a further explanation as to whether the FVRD was compelled to provide access to the 3 parcels in question . Staff did not submit a written staff report to the Board on this question and provided a verbal report to the Board instead and the Board minutes will reflect same. I can advise that the background documents relied upon by staff are Section 73 of the National Energy Board Act of Canada and the National Energy Board publication entitled, “Pipeline Regulation in Canada: A Guide for Homeowners and the Public” – this document can be accessed at www.neb-one-.gc.ca or by calling toll free 1-800-899-1265. Staff have also been in discussions with Kinder Morgan staff regarding this issue. I should mention that in our discussions with Kinder Morgan staff, they were very clear about 2 things: 1) that providing consent does not mean that the land owner supports the pipeline expansion; and 2) that although federal legislation provides the authority for Kinder Morgan to access lands for purposes of undertaking survey work, Kinder Morgan would much prefer to obtain voluntary consent and work cooperatively with land owners as opposed to invoking this authority.

With regard to the one parcel associated with Cheam Lake Regional Park, this parcel was recently rezoned as a housekeeping matter as it had come to our attention that the land was not zoned for park use. We wish to confirm that this one parcel of land is on the “far side” of Cheam Lake Regional Park and has yet to be fully developed and integrated into Cheam Lake Regional Park. That said, the proposed corridor study does cut across the top end of this property (furthest from the lake) – I will send you the 3 maps under separate cover as you have requested. The point we wish to make is that balance of Cheam Lake Regional Park is not being impacted by this proposed corridor study.

I believe it is safe to say that the FVRD Board is concerned that there may be some misunderstanding and misconceptions with respect to the FVRD Board’s position regarding this proposed project. Please let me again reiterate that the Board’s authorization to allow access onto the 3 parcels in question is not any indication of whether the Board endorses the project – that has yet to be determined.

We understand that Kinder Morgan has committed to a public engagement program founded on the principle of “respectful, transparent and collaborative interactions with communities to develop long-term, effective relationships” and that they intend to have “open and meaningful dialogue” with the FVRD Board and the communities our Board serves. The FVRD has been assured by Kinder Morgan that there will be on-going consultation with the FVRD Board and our communities with regard to this project and we look forward to those discussions with Kinder Morgan.

I am hopeful that this explanation addresses your questions and concerns at this stage. Please feel free to contact me should this matter require further explanation and I do regret that I was unable to get our response out to you sooner.


Suzanne Gresham
Acting Chief Administrative Officer
General Manager
Electoral Area Services
Fraser Valley Regional District

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