Letter: City needs to probe safety of pipeline


 We believe Kamloops council needs to take a leadership role in bringing about greater understanding of the current condition and future safety of the existing 66-year-old, 24-inch Trans Mountain pipeline as it passes through the area. 

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We submit that there is a large and unacknowledged danger from a leak or leaks from this outdated and possibly obsolete pipeline. We ask council to become engaged in further educating the public about any and all risks, followed by appropriate action to protect residents and the environment to the highest degree possible.

Keystone pipeline’s recent 1.4-million-litre spill of Alberta tar sands-diluted bitumen in North Dakota contaminated two hectares, 10 times more land than initial reports estimated.

In previous communications with councillors, we were told that what has happened with Keystone is not relevant to the Trans Mountain pipeline, which runs through the city’s residential areas and crosses waterways. If this is the actual position of council, we find it to be unacceptable and alarming.

The two pipelines are similar in that both carry diluted bitumen from Alberta tar sands. However, Keystone was built in 2011 and is logically much better engineered, constructed and monitored under modern standards — yet it still managed to leak 1.4-million litres before detection and shutdown took place. Remember, Trans Mountain was built in 1953 and was not even intended at the time to be used for transporting the more acidic, caustic and toxic diluted bitumen. It was intended to transport standard petroleum products.

It is our belief there is a potential disaster scenario for Kamloops residents with the existing obsolete and outdated Trans Mountain pipeline and it is a situation that cannot be ignored. 

We request council undertake a thorough examination of risks to residential areas and waterways in Kamloops, including specific detailed history of all leaks and any company concerns with the existing pipeline. We trust council will then take necessary actions to ensure Kamloops residents and waterways are protected to the highest possible degree now and in the future .

Susan Mann and John McNamer


© Kamloops This Week


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