The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in British Columbia, Canada

The very controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is a USD 3.5 billion dollar project that would establish a new pipeline twinning an existing pipeline from Strathcona County, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia.


The controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is a USD 3 and a half billion dollar project that would establish a new pipeline twinning an existing pipeline from Strathcona County, Alberta to Burnaby, British Columbia. The 1,150-km existing Trans Mountain pipeline system, which is today owned by Kinder Morgan, is in operation since 1953 and continues from Edmonton, AB to Vancouver, BC.

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Basic Data
NameThe Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project in British Columbia, Canada
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Climate change related conflicts (glaciers and small islands)
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsKinder Morgan's expansion plans include the construction of a new, twinned pipeline alongside the existing 1,150-km Trans Mountain pipeline system between Edmonton, Alberta and Burnaby, British Columbia. The project would increase the capacity of the pipeline system from 300,000 to at least 890,000 barrels per day.

The project proposal includes the construction of approximately 994 km of new pipeline, the reactivation of 193 km of old pipeline, 12 new pump stations, 20 new tanks to be added and a proposed new line to carry heavier oils with capacity for transporting light crude oils. The project also includes a proposed expansion of the Westridge Marine Terminal. The current terminal accommodates five tankers per month this expansion would increase the tanker traffic to roughly 34 per month.
Level of Investment (in USD)USD 3,500,000,000
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date03/01/2012
Company Names or State EnterprisesKinder Morgan from United States of America
Relevant government actorsCity of Burnaby

City of Vancouver

Province of British Columbia

City of North Vancouver

City of Surrey

City of Victoria

District of Abbotsford

City of Chilliwack

City of Port Moody

National Energy Board (NEB)

Surrey Board of Trade

National Energy Board

Village of Anmore

Vancouver Park Board

Business Council of British Columbia

District of West Vancouver
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersBurnaby Pipeline Watch

Burnaby Residents Opposed to Kinder Morgan Expansion (BROKE)

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

Defend Our Coast

Dogwood Initiative

ForestEthics Advocacy

Georgia Strait Alliance

Let BC Decide

MacDonald-Laurier Institute

NS Nope

Pipe Up Network

Save the Salish Sea

Squamish Nation

Swinomish Indian Tribal Community

Tar Sands SOS: Save Our Shore

Tulatip Tribes

UBC University Neighbourhood Assoc.

Westcoast Environmental Law

YinkaDene Alliance's Save the Fraser

Coastal First Nations

Living Ocean Society

Lummi Nation

Pacheedaht First Nation

Sacred Trust Intiative

Sierra Club BC

Tanker Free BC

Tsleil-Waututh First Nations

Wilderness Committee

Lower Mainland Government Association

Union of B.C. Municipalities

Conversations for Responsible Economic Development (CRED):

Wilderness Committee:

Council of Canadians:

Tanker Free BC:

Living Oceans Society:

Georgia Straight Alliance:

West Coast Environmental Law and Forest Ethics Advocacy
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)HIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Recreational users
Local scientists/professionals
Tseil-Waututh, Musqueam, Sto:lo and Squamish Nations
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationAppeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Development of a network/collective action
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Public campaigns
Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Media based activism/alternative media
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases, Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusProposed (exploration phase)
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Court decision (undecided)
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Project temporarily suspended
Pipeline re-routing, dismissed lawsuit against activists
Development of AlternativesA National Energy Board (NEB) process (press) release stated that as of July 15th, 2013 the board has suspended the NEB review of the Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline project. The postponement is a consequence of significant modifications to the projected route of the pipeline thru Burnaby. A decision on the expansion is not expected until 2015 with an anticipated release date for the NEB report in 2016.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The City of Burnaby has won a ruling to halt further test drilling on Burnaby Mountain. Additional cases are still before the courts regarding such matters as modifications to the planned route or termination of the project.
Sources and Materials

National Energy Board (NEB), Application for Trans Mountain Expansion Project (OH-001-2014), 16 December 2013,
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The situation of indigenous peoples in Canada, United Nations General Assembly, Human Rights Council, Final version, 4 July 2014, A/HRC/27/52/Add.2,
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Assessing the risks of Kinder Morgan’s proposed new Trans Mountain pipeline
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Decision on Kind Morgan’s trans Mountain Oil Pipeline Delayed Until After Net Election
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Trans Mountain Pipeline System Map
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First Nations sign up for Kinder Morgan pipeline hearing
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B.C. First Nation launches legal challenge over Kinder Morgan pipeline
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Kinder Morgan
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Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project
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Vancouver joins list opposed to expanded Kinder Morgan pipeline
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Routing change puts Kinder Morgan pipeline under Burnaby Mountain
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Sacred Trust Initiative, Kinder Morgan Information Brochure
[click to view]

Trans Mountain Pipeline
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Kinder Morgan leaves Burnaby Mountain in win for pipeline protesters
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Wilderness Committee
[click to view]

Real Hearings.Org
[click to view]

Coastal First Nations
[click to view]

Burnaby Pipeline Watch
[click to view]

Georgia Strait Alliance
[click to view]

Let BC Decide
[click to view]

NS Nope
[click to view]

Pipe Up Network
[click to view]

Sacred Trust Initiative. Kinder Morgan Proposal
[click to view]

Save Salish Sea
[click to view]

Salish Sea Map
[click to view]

Tanker Free BC
[click to view]

Tar Sands SOS: Save Our Shore
[click to view]

Trans Mountain Pipeline, Proposed Expansion, Trans Mountain homepage, ; Project Overview,
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Globe and Mail, 11 January 2016, B.C. rejects Kinder Morgan’s bid to expand Trans Mountain pipeline, by JEFFREY JONES and BRENT JANG
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Media Links

Interactive Map of Trans Mountain Expansion Project
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MAP: Proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project Description Overview – Kinder Morgan
[click to view]

Other Documents

Rally against Kinder Morgan oil pipeline on Burnaby Mountain
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Rally against Kinder Morgan oil pipeline on Burnaby Mountain
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Rally against Kinder Morgan oil pipeline on Burnaby Mountain

These photos are from the rally against the proposed Kinder Morgan oil pipeline on Burnaby Mountain. Monday, November 17th, 2014.
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorCoral Voss, York University, [email protected] and Oilwatch
Last update06/03/2016