We see these signs along roads in Chilliwack's Protected Groundwater Zone.
Of course we wouldn't want heavy oil pipelines across that zone!
And yet that's what we have.
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"Once contaminated, it is unlikely that the aquifer could be remediated adequately to use for drinking water purposes again." -- City of Chilliwack to the National Energy Board
A 63-year old oil pipeline lies over the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer, Chilliwack and Yarrow's sole drinking water source. The federal government is poised to allow Kinder Morgan to add a second pipeline twice as large alongside that old one for a combined capacity of 890,000 barrels every day. So far we've been lucky, but the old pipe has had 82 leaks elsewhere. The proposed new pipeline comes with no guarantee of safety either, as demonstrated by the 5-million litre spill on a 9 month old Nexen pipeline in Alberta in 2015.
We must not let Kinder Morgan double-down on this gamble with our drinking water!
If the twinning project goes ahead and they dig a new trench anyway, there would never be an easier time to remove this threat from Chilliwack and Yarrow's water source by going around the aquifer instead of over it, moving the old pipe off the aquifer too! (See a 1-minute video of current and one possible alternate route below)
The National Energy Board report acknowledged the compounding risks in this section of the pipeline (more) and said several times that the route is not finalized and changes can still be made. It's not too late, but time is short and no one is going to make that route change happen for us. It is up to those of us who rely on this water every day to tell our government and the regulator that they must protect the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer as a condition of project approval!
This isn't about whether the pipeline should go ahead or not. Only that if the pipeline goes ahead it must not be on top of this city's drinking water. Please add your name below to support this move!
National Energy Board & BC Ministers Mary Polak and Rich Coleman: Not On The Aquifer!
Chilliwack and Yarrow's drinking water must be protected by changing the route to move both new and old Trans Mountain pipelines off of the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer if Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project is approved!