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City launches judicial review of Kinder Morgans pipeline expansion

The City of Vancouver has filed with the Federal Court of Appeal an application for a
judicial review of the National Energy Boards (NEB) decision to conditionally
recommend Kinder Morgans pipeline expansion project (the Project), citing that it
is both invalid and unlawful. Throughout the NEB review process, the City and many
other intervenors have raised significant concerns about its flawed process which
excluded any opportunities for oral cross-examination of experts and evidence,
provided inadequate information sharing and failed to properly consult affected
communities along the pipeline and tanker route.
An expanded Kinder Morgan pipeline is not in Vancouver or Canadas economic or
environmental interest, says Mayor Gregor Robertson. The National Energy Board
failed to properly and thoroughly consult local communities on the pipeline and
tanker route, ignoring key pieces of scientific evidence showing the potential for real
and catastrophic damage to local waters in the event of an oil spill, and the impact of
an expanded pipeline on greenhouse gas emissions both locally and abroad. Vancouver
still has significant concerns about Kinder Morgans expansion and weve concluded
its simply not worth the risk to our environment or economy.
In the application, the City outlines that the NEB failed to comply with the
requirements of the NEB Act by ignoring key pieces of evidence submitted by the City
as part of the process which supported the Citys position that:

Existing and planned government policies and regulations to limit or reduce

GHG emissions in destination markets will result in substantial reduction in oil
consumption over the lifetime of the Project and a decline in demand for
Alberta oil sands bitumen; and
Lower oil prices and falling demand for Alberta oil sands bitumen means that
there will be no need for the Projects expanded pipeline capacity.

The NEB also failed to consider upstream and downstream GHG emissions from the
The City also seeks a declaration that the NEB did not comply with its duties under
sections of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) through its failure to
appropriately consider:

The fate and behavior of an oil spill of diluted bitumen in the Burrard Inlet and
the Fraser River, the ecological consequences of a spill and the likelihood of oil
spills from the Project
The environmental and socio-economic effects of the upstream activities,
including the development of the oil sands, associated with the Project

Furthermore, the NEBs refusal to allow oral cross-examination of experts was

contrary to principles of natural justice and procedural fairness that it was required
by law to observe.
In addition to the judicial review, the City is also asking the Court to stop the Federal
Government from making any decisions on Kinder Morgans proposal until the NEBs
assessment of the Project has been completed in accordance with the NEB Act and the
The City continues to have significant concerns about the Project and, based on
independent evidence, has concluded that it is not worth the risk to Vancouver and
Canada from either an environmental or economic perspective. The City has set up a
mechanism for residents and businesses to write to the Federal Government to share
their concerns around the pipeline expansion proposal:
The Citys 12 evidence-based reports prepared by independent subject experts can be
found at