Kinder Morgan tank farm expansion poses risks to SFU
By Kurt Heinrich
Plans to triple the capacity of the tank farm on Burnaby Mountain as part of the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project pose significant health and safety risks to the Simon Fraser University community, according to a report released today by the university.
The report, prepared by PGL Environmental Consultants, concludes that the increased number and closer spacing of tanks, as well as the greater volume of refined bitumen, will increase the risk of accidents, fires and exposure to toxic chemicals. These chemicals could have adverse health impacts, particularly for vulnerable populations. In addition, the greater number of tanks, and their proximity to the intersection of Burnaby Mountain Parkway and Gaglardi Way, could cut off access to and from SFU in the event of a fire or other emergency, leaving people on the mountain stranded.
Based on the risks identified in the report, SFU President Andrew Petter has written to the Honourable James Carr, Minister of Natural Resources, communicating the University’s concerns and expressing its objection to the tank farm expansion.
“Any increase in risks to the health and safety of the SFU community resulting from this expansion is unacceptable to the University,” says Petter. “The risks identified in this report are significant and deeply concerning.”
SFU has raised concerns about the project with federal agencies and the company for the past two years. In 2015, the University applied for and received intervenor status from the National Energy Board (NEB), submitting an Information Request and several evidentiary documents outlining the results of commissioned reports.
In January 2016, the University submitted written evidence to the NEB hearings related to a wide-range of concerns about the project. In August 2016, the university again submitted its concerns to the federal Ministerial Panel reviewing the NEB decision. And SFU staff have attempted to work with Kinder Morgan to address the health and safety issues raised through the review process.
“The health and safety of the SFU community is our highest priority,” says SFU’s Chief Safety Officer Mark LaLonde.” We have communicated our concerns with many aspects of the proposed tank farm expansion, and we will continue to raise these concerns with both Kinder Morgan and the federal government.”
- SFU Trans Mountain Pipeline Updates: https://www.sfu.ca/srs/tmp.html
- Trans Mountain Expansion Project: Evaluation of Risks to SFU Report