Approval of Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion subject to 145 conditions

Approval of Kinder Morgan's pipeline expansion subject to 145 conditions

Image by rickz|Flickr.

Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) issued Wednesday 145 draft conditions that Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) must meet for its proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion to be approved.

Among the requirements, the NEB called the company to increase consultation with First Nations and upgrade its emergency response unit.

The conditions were not welcome by participants in the board's review, and 35 of them announced they were dropping out of what they called a "biased" and "unfair" process, Canadian Press reported.

Remaining participants have six days to respond to the conditions, which are legally-required and do not mean the board has made a decision yet.

First Nations weren’t happy either. Rueben George, a member of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation, said more consultation does mean less risks for the band and their land along the Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver.

"[The conditions are] a joke," George was quoted as saying. "They don’t address the concerns that we brought up."

He is referring to an independent review released by the nation in May, which concluded that a major spill could kill as many as 500,000 birds and foul up to 25 km of shoreline.

The proposed pipeline expansion will let Kinder Morgan triple its bitumen-carrying capacity to 890,000 barrels a day by laying almost 1,000 kilometres of new pipe near the existing pipeline that runs from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C.

The company will review the conditions and submit comments to the board next week.