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Vancouver taking Trans Mountain pipeline challenge to Federal Court

Ongoing dispute has already caused a seven-month delay in the pipeline's regulatory process.


VANCOUVER — The city of Vancouver is going to court to try and have global climate change considered in Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline proposal.

The city will ask the Federal Court of Appeal for a judicial review of the National Energy Board process for the project.

Vancouver officials already asked the board to take climate change into account but the regulator decided in July it would not.

Now the city wants the court to decide, said Sadhu Johnston, deputy city manager.

“What we’re trying to do is to ask the NEB to have a thorough review of this, that evaluates not just the economic benefits but evaluates the environmental impacts,” Johnston said Thursday.

The $5.4-billion project would almost triple the capacity of the current pipeline linking the Alberta oil sands to Kinder Morgan’s terminal at Port Metro Vancouver, increasing flow from 300,000 barrels of oil a day to almost 900,000.

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“The city of Vancouver is the largest port city in the country and we have a lot of coastline. We are already being impacted by changing sea level,” Johnston said.

“We are directly impacted by the burning of these fossil fuels and we believe that does need to be taken into account – the cost of that and the implications of that.”

The dispute has already caused a seven-month delay in the regulatory process.

The board panel will not have its final report to cabinet until Jan. 25, 2016. Under the original schedule, the report was due July 2, 2015.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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