Chilliwack Wells Missing

wells_1-2.jpg

This image is taken from a map in the City of Chilliwack's Groundwater Protection Plan. Well 1 and Well 2 are city drinking water wells. The pipeline marked "Gas Pipeline" is the Kinder Morgan pipeline. Published in 1997, the red, orange and blue lines on the map represent the projected areas those wells would draw water from as the city grew. In the 20 years since, we have certainly grown. New mapping of these zones is being done now. (Lines represent time of travel to wells.)

Recent filings by Kinder Morgan have particular relevance to drinking water in Chilliwack.

The aquifer these wells draw from is absent from a list of places where potential groundwater issues exist, filed in June in Kinder Morgan's Groundwater Management Plan for NEB Condition 72, and referenced in other filings such as Condition 78.

Despite the fact that the pipeline crosses the area the wells draw water from, these wells are not included in the filing for Condition 93 because they're over 150m from the pipeline.

These wells are also missing from the inventory of drinking water sources at risk from the project filed in June for a commitment made to the Province of B.C. They were not included because Kinder Morgan's spill modelling, filed in Volume 7 of their application in December 2013, only considered a full bore rupture (one of the least likely types of failure) spilling on the surface of the ground or into streams. That from a pipeline that will be buried 2 or 3 metres down. Movement of contaminants in groundwater, such as benzene -- a toxic, cancer-causing, water soluble component of diluted bitumen -- was never considered in spill modelling.

The company says in letters to the City of Chilliwack that they take our drinking water concerns seriously. Whether by design or by accident, their NEB filings tell a different story.

All of this information will be part of WaterWealth's filings to the NEB regarding Kinder Morgan's Section 21 application for the change out of the BC Hydro right-of-way, and will also be included in our presentations at the public hearing stage(s) of the detailed route process. We don't know yet whether that will be one hearing including route segment 6.3 that is the subject of the Section 21 application or whether there will be a separate set of hearings for Section 21 applications, of which there are 7 on the route.

We are working to protect this drinking water. No other community has been as involved as the residents of Chilliwack in the detailed route process on this project. In fact about half of all statements on the route came from Chilliwack.

If you find this work of value and are in a position to be able to support with a donation, please consider doing so at www.waterwealthproject.com/invest

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