6 Oil Pipeline Facts for Chilliwack
1. The pipeline route lies right across the aquifer that is the water supply for the City of Chilliwack.
2. Kinder Morgan plan to keep the 1953 pipeline in service, and add a new larger pipeline on the same route.
3. Pipelines can leak, even new ones.
4. The National Energy Board recommended that the federal government approve the twinning and the federal government will make their decision by December 19, 2016. (update: Indications are that the decision will come in November!)
5. The National Energy Board remain open to route changes, and Kinder Morgan has advertised route changes made to avoid other sensitive areas.
6. If the project goes ahead and they're digging a new trench anyway, there will never be a better opportunity to change the route and remove the risk of oil spill certainly and permanently from Chilliwack's water supply.
So how do we protect Chilliwack's water supply?
(Click here to skip right to the current petition)
The water supply for a city of 80,000 must not remain at risk, and be placed at greater risk with addition of a second pipeline, simply for the convenience of a foreign-owned pipeline company. Step 1 to protecting the water supply was the NEB hearing. The NEB acknowledged the compounding risks in this section of the pipeline, our request for a route change, and that the route was not finalized at the time of their report, but they did not include the route change in their conditions.
Step 2: The Ministerial Panel
After the NEB hearing a Ministerial Panel was appointed to hear from Canadians with the goal of helping the government make a more informed final decision on the project. Many raised their concerns about the aquifer with the Panel, and those concerns were included in the Panel's report. Unfortunately the Ministerial Panel could not make recommendations, but our concerns and the necessary solution were communicated to Trudeau & the Cabinet Ministers who will make the decisions on the pipeline.
Step 3: A petition from our community
We are down to the wire now. Trudeau and Cabinet will make their decision any day between now and the December 19 deadline. The best information we have indicates that the decision will be announced before the end of November. If you live, work, own a business, or have family or friends in Chilliwack please sign and share the 'Not On The Aquifer' petition at www.waterwealthproject.com/nota
For more information, we have this 1 minute video that shows the current and proposed routes in relation to the aquifer. You can also read more about the benefits of changing the route across Chilliwack and see a video version of our presentation to the Ministerial Panel on our web page "Off The Aquifer". Info also in our Chilliwack Times guest column "Protecting Local Aquifer Top Priority". We think the benefits are so clear that it's almost unimaginable the federal government would approve the project without this route change. So then...
Step 4: Celebrate with a nice tall glass of cool, clear Chilliwack water!
You will have helped to secure this city's water supply against risk of pipeline spill, a risk that otherwise would have been ever present for many generations into the future.
Of course it's not over till it's over, so even after the Ministerial Panel has finished their work, WaterWealth will continue to keep the pressure on the federal government, to make sure that this community is heard right up to the federal decision deadline December 19.
And if the near-unthinkable happens and the federal government approve the project without protecting the aquifer, we'll have a plan for that too.