You may have seen the headline in the March 10 Chilliwack Progress
"Chilliwack asks NEB to exhaust alternatives in a letter of comment on routing"
Reading the article you may have thought the city is looking after things we hold dear, "Lum said later they wanted to make it clear that council strongly opposes any routing options that pose a risk to the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer, or to Yarrow Waterworks." The letter that came out of that meeting, signed by the mayor and filed with the National Energy Board, tells a different story.
Going into the meeting, the staff recommendation to council was to write a letter that "should include the following key considerations:"
- Provision of documentation from BC Hydro confirming there is no possibility of proceeding with alternate route PI and justification for that position.
- That the depth of the new pipeline be limited to a maximum of 2 meters below the existing surface.
- Require the use of pipeline design and construction methods that both reduces impacts to homes and properties and safeguards our drinking water source.
- Require automated vapour monitoring be added to the suite of leak detection measures, with monitoring locations as agreed upon by the City.
- Require the monitoring and spill response plans be developed in close cooperation with and to the satisfaction of the City.
Video of the council meeting gives the appearance that in addition to the staff recommendation the letter would also include:
- A letter to the province on pipeline concerns.
- Examination of the MOTI (Highway One) right-of-way as a possible route.
- Request for explanation of why the pipeline was being routed around Cheam Lake Wetlands, but not Browne Creek Wetlands.
Yet the meeting minutes on what was a 16 minute discussion at council read only:
The letter that was signed by the mayor and filed with the National Energy Board with a photocopy to Premier Clark is here - A82427-1 Letter - A5K1G8.
The video of that part of the council meeting is below. About 16 minutes total. It starts with some background information from David Blain, Director of Planning and Engineering. Council discussion starts 7 minutes 5 seconds in.
What do you think? Did the result reflect what went on in the meeting? Why or why not?
The route for the pipeline has not been approved by the National Energy Board.
If you would like to help protect the source of the exceptional clean drinking water our community depends on and enjoys, see www.waterwealthproject.com/route_hearings