Chilliwack BC Hydro Realignment

Chilliwack residents now have two NEB processes to engage with on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

  1. Over 200 residents filed statements of opposition to the route of the project, largely due to the risks it imposes on the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer and the City of Chilliwack and Yarrow Waterworks public drinking water wells that draw water from the aquifer. There will be public hearings about the route to address the issues raised in those statements of opposition.
  2. Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan has applied for a route change in Chilliwack to actually move the part of the new pipeline that is closest to City wells even closer! The route change takes the new pipeline out of an area where it currently would follow a BC Hydro right-of-way to instead run along with the existing pipe on the 1953 route across Watson Elementary School and through residential neighbourhoods west of the school.

section-21_options_cropped.jpg

It is important that residents know that both of the routes that are the subject of Kinder Morgan's route realignment application would put the pipeline within capture zones of City wells and neither route makes any difference regarding risk to Yarrow Waterworks wells. While working to prevent them from moving closer to City wells we also need to keep our eyes on the prize -- get the route changed to run parallel to Highway 1 where there would be NO risk to any City or Yarrow Waterworks drinking water wells. We look forward to the NEB's announcement of those public hearings.

The period to apply to participate in the realignment hearing has passed. Screenshots of the application process are here. There are four intervenors and 17 commenters in the realignment hearing. Intervenors are the City of Chilliwack, S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance, WaterWealth, and one individual resident - Rachel Symington. WaterWealth will be hosting meetings to provide opportunities to work together on the realignment hearing (and the broader route hearings when they come). We also post updates on Facebook and Twitter. Please do get in touch if you would like to be involved. Donations to support this work are always needed too. We receive no funding from government or other sources for this work. Ideas for potential funders are welcome!

Timeline and Hearing Documents

Below is a timeline and list of hearing documents that we will keep as current as possible. Dates are as shown in the NEB Regulatory Document Index (REGDOCS), unless otherwise noted, and may lag the actual date of filing by a day. Links open in new windows or tabs.

NEB Chilliwack BC Hydro Route Realignment main page

27 March 2017 Trans Mountain filed an application for the reroute.

29 March 2017 Letter from the City of Chilliwack to NEB. (actual date of letter)

27 April 2017 letter from the City of Chilliwack to NEB. (actual date of letter)

6 June 2017 Trans Mountain filed responses to letters it had received from the City. Includes correspondence between Trans Mountain and the City from January to May 2017.

12 June 2017 NEB issued a letter and information request #1 (IR #1)

16 June 2017 Trans Mountain requested an extension on responding to parts of NEB IR #1

20 June 2017 Trans Mountain filed partial response to NEB IR #1

20 June 2017 NEB issued a letter accepting Trans Mountain's request for delay responding to parts of NEB IR #1

23 June 2017 Trans Mountain completed its response to NEB IR #1

26 June 2017 NEB issued a letter refusing Trans Mountain's request that the PPBoR for the route segment 6.3 that is the subject of the realignment application be considered at the same time the realignment is being considered. NEB also ordered a 30 day comment period on the realignment application.

13 July 2017 City of Chilliwack requested an extension on the time to comment on the realignment hearing.

17 July 2017 WaterWealth filed comments on the realignment application.

17 July 2017 City of Chilliwack filed a letter stating some of the City's concerns and again asking for the extension to comment.

18 July 2017 NEB invited Trans Mountain to comment on the City's extension request.

24 July 2017 Trans Mountain responded no objection to the City's extension request and responded to comments received to date from the City and from WaterWealth

28 July 2017 NEB issued ruling #1 granting the City's requested extension.

10 August 2017 WaterWealth filed a request that NEB have Trans Mountain file documents in REGDOCS that had been provided privately to the City regarding Browne Creek Wetland construction mitigation and the Highway 1 routing option.

14 August 2017 City of Chilliwack filed its comment on the realignment application.

14 August 2017 NEB notified Aboriginal communities of the realignment application.

21 August 2017 Trans Mountain responded to the City comment, attaching a letter to the Province of BC, a letter regarding Browne Creek Wetlands, and the report on the Highway 1 route option.

31 August 2017 NEB issued the hearing order for the realignment. Contains list of issues and other important information.

Hearing Schedule (Oct 10 update) as one long png image or as a pdf file

6 September 2017 NEB issued a letter informing Aboriginal groups of the hearing.

6 September 2017 NEB issued a letter acknowledging that Trans Mountain had provided the Highway 1 report WaterWealth had asked for.

13 September 2017 Trans Mountain filed a letter confirming that they had notified people of the hearing as required by NEB.

Applications to participate were filed up to September 21, 2017. None were refused though two who applied as intervenors were approved as commenters instead.

21 September 2017 WaterWealth filed a motion asking that the realignment application and other documents that had been made available in the Chilliwack library also be made available in the Sardis Library which is very near the area the realignment applies to.

26 September 2017 Trans Mountain replied to WaterWealth's motion saying that they would make the documents available at Sardis Library.

27 September 2017 NEB issued its IR #2.

2 October 2017 NEB issued a letter acknowledging that Trans Mountain had responded to WaterWealth's motion re documents in libraries.

3 October 2017 NEB issued the list of hearing participants.

3 October 2017 Trans Mountain asked for extra time to respond to parts of NEB IR #2.

4 October 2017 Trans Mountain responded to NEB IR #2 questions 2.1(a) and 2.2.

10 October 2017 NEB issued ruling #3 and procedural update #1 that allowed Trans Mountain's request for more time to respond to portions of NEB IR #2 and modified the hearing schedule to provide time for intervenors to file information requests on Trans Mountain's reply and for Trans Mountain to respond to those information requests.

12 October 2017 Trans Mountain filed a letter confirming that they had served the hearing application and related documents to the list of participants.

23 October 2017 S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance filed an information request.

24 October 2017 NEB issued procedural update #2, which provided date, location and participation information for the oral portion of the hearing.

24 October 2017 WaterWealth filed our information request #1.

25 October 2017 NEB issued their information request #3 .

25 October 2017 City of Chilliwack filed an information request #1.

25 October 2017 Rachel Symington filed an information request.

26 October 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to NEB IR #2 questions 2.1(b) and (c).

1 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to City of Chilliwack IR #1.

1 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance IR #1

1 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to Rachel Symington IR #1.

1 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to WaterWealth IR #1.

2 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to NEB IR #3.

6 November 2017 NEB issued their information request #4.

6 November 2017 City of Chilliwack filed their information request #2 (IR on Trans Mountain's responses to NEB IR #2 questions 2.1(b) and (c)).

6 November 2017 WaterWealth filed our information request on Trans Mountain's responses to NEB IR #2 questions 2.1(b) and (c).

7 November 2017 S'ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance filed a letter on oral traditional hearing.

13 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to NEB IR #4.

13 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to City of Chilliwack IR #2.

13 November 2017 Trans Mountain filed their response to WaterWealth IR  #2.1 b,c (same topics as the City one, just named differently).

20 November 2017 City of Chilliwack filed their written evidence.

21 November 2017 City of Chilliwack filed slides to be used for the oral hearing.

21 November 2017 S'olh Temexw Stewardship Alliance filed written evidence.

21 November 2017 S'olh Temexw Stewardship Alliance filed affidavits to written evidence.

21 November 2017 WaterWealth filed written evidence.

24 November 2017 NEB filed a letter to the S'olh Temexw Stewardship Alliance re process for oral traditional evidence.

27 November 2017 City of Chilliwack file their witness panel identification.

28 November 2017 WaterWealth files its witness panel identification.

28 November 2017 S'olh Temexw Stewardship Alliance file their witness panel identification.

28 November 2017 Trans Mountain file their witness panel identification.

30 November 2017 S'olh Temexw Stewardship Alliance file a letter regarding Oral Traditional Evidence. (see next entry).

30 November 2017 S'olh Temexw Stewardship Alliance file a correction that the letter preciously filed was regarding Oral Hearing, not Oral Traditional Evidence.

1 December 2017 Trans Mountain file a letter agreeing to meet with STSA and NEB re oral evidence.

4 December 2017 Trans Mountain file their information request #1 to the City of Chilliwack.

5 December 2017 NEB file a correction to the list of issues in the realignment hearing, re environmental assessment matters.

18 December 2017 City of Chilliwack filed their response to Trans Mountain's Information Request #1 to the City.

19 December 2017 NEB file Procedural Update #1 outlining procedures & deadlines for the oral hearings.

19 December 2017 NEB file Information Request #5. Includes important technical details and a request for response re WaterWealth's assertion that if the Board considers approving the Reroute, it should ensure the use of extra heavy wall pipe (19 mm) for the segment defined as extra sensitive by Chilliwack, which based on a commitment Trans Mountain made to the City in an email February 6, 2017.

19 December 2017 NEB file a potential condition for if the realignment does get approved, invites comment on additional conditions that should be considered, and requires Trans Mountain to file a complete table of the 157 conditions on the project as they relate to the realignment.

21 December 2017 City of Chilliwack file their expert witness credentials.

27 December 2017 City of Chilliwack file their list of hearing attendees.

27 December 2017 City of Chilliwack file their estimates for cross-examination time.

27 December 2017 Trans Mountain file their time estimates for cross-examination, list of hearing attendees, and expert witness qualifications.

29 December 2017 WaterWealth file its estimates for cross-examination time.

3 January 2018 Trans Mountain file their response to NEB IR #5.

4 January 2018 Deadline for letters of comment. List of those registered and letters of those who filed them can be found here.

https://apps.neb-one.gc.ca/REGDOCS/Item/View/34606255 January 2018 NEB file the exhibit list for the hearing.

8 January 2018 Trans Mountain file their reply evidence.

15-18 January 2018 Oral Hearing Transcripts.

Some corrections to the record were filed and can be found at the following links:

Kinder Morgan's corrections

City of Chilliwack corrections

WaterWealth corrections

2 February 2018 Kinder Morgan file draft AC Mitigation report in response to NEB IR #5. Report claims that BC Hydro routes P1 & P1A are both impossible, leaving only the P2 route Kinder Morgan wants.

10 February 2018 WaterWealth file motion requesting that intervenors be granted time and participant funding to seek independent expert assessment of the draft AC Mitigation report and to respond to the report.

14 February 2018 NEB issue a letter to Trans Mountain and WaterWealth setting out a process for dealing with the motion.

20 February 2018 Kinder Morgan respond to WaterWealth's motion, arguing "the Board should not reopen the hearing process to consider a Draft Report, nor wait to issue its recommendation report until the Draft Report is agreed upon and finalized with BC Hydro."

21 February 2018 City of Chilliwack file a letter of support for WaterWealth's motion.

23 February 2018 WaterWealth file response to Kinder Morgan's response to WaterWealth's motion.

8 March 2018 NEB issue Ruling No. 4, saying that "The Report is not part of the record of this hearing and has not been considered by the Panel overseeing this proceeding. The same is true for any future iterations of the Report."

So there it sits at the moment. We had expected that the NEB would not issue the hearing order for the  major segment 6 until they ruled on this realignment in sub-segment 6.3. But they did on 13 March with a letter and hearing order where the schedule for segments 6.1 to 6.6 is left blank and saying basically that if the realignment hearing decision goes against Kinder Morgan the NEB will figure out what to do at the time.

And so we begin work on the detailed route hearings for segment 6, and await the decision on the realignment in 6.3.

5 April 2018 NEB issue their report, allowing Kinder Morgan's route change.

4 July 2018 the realignment is approved by the Governor in Council (federal Cabinet) and NEB issue the amending order.

This page includes significant hearing documents. Some minor ones were omitted. The full record can be found at Chilliwack BC Hydro (OH-001-2017). Please contact us with any errors or omissions.

Together we can ensure protection of the drinking water sources our growing community relies on!

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