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Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, 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
Name of conflict:Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, British Columbia, Canada
State or province:British Columbia
Location of conflict:Burnaby
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional 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 commodities:Crude oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Kinder 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.

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Level of Investment:USD 3,500,000,000
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:03/01/2012
Company names or state enterprises:Kinder Morgan from United States of America
Relevant government actors:City 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 organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Burnaby 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
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous 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 mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Boycotts of official procedures/non-participation in official processes
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
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-economical 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)
Conflict outcome / response:Compensation
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 alternatives:A 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain: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 & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

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,
[click to view]

National Energy Board (NEB), Application for Trans Mountain Expansion Project (OH-001-2014), 16 December 2013,
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project
[click to view]

First Nations sign up for Kinder Morgan pipeline hearing
[click to view]

Decision on Kind Morgan’s trans Mountain Oil Pipeline Delayed Until After Net Election
[click to view]

B.C. First Nation launches legal challenge over Kinder Morgan pipeline
[click to view]

Kinder Morgan
[click to view]

Assessing the risks of Kinder Morgan’s proposed new Trans Mountain pipeline
[click to view]

Trans Mountain Pipeline System Map
[click to view]

Routing change puts Kinder Morgan pipeline under Burnaby Mountain
[click to view]

Trans Mountain Pipeline
[click to view]

Vancouver joins list opposed to expanded Kinder Morgan pipeline
[click to view]

Sacred Trust Initiative, Kinder Morgan Information Brochure
[click to view]

Kinder Morgan leaves Burnaby Mountain in win for pipeline protesters
[click to view]

Wilderness Committee
[click to view]

Real Hearings.Org
[click to view]

Burnaby Pipeline Watch
[click to view]

Let BC Decide
[click to view]

Georgia Strait Alliance
[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]

Coastal First Nations
[click to view]

Globe and Mail, 11 January 2016, B.C. rejects Kinder Morgan’s bid to expand Trans Mountain pipeline, by JEFFREY JONES and BRENT JANG
[click to view]

Trans Mountain Pipeline, Proposed Expansion, Trans Mountain homepage, ; Project Overview,
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Interactive Map of Trans Mountain Expansion Project
[click to view]

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

Meta information
Contributor:Coral Voss, York University, [email protected] and Oilwatch
Last update18/08/2019
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