A plan to triple the size of an oil pipeline that runs through Langley was given federal approval by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday.
Trudeau announced that Kinder Morgan’s plan to expand the Trans Mountain Pipeline has been approved, while the Northern Gateway project has been denied.
“If I thought this project was unsafe for the B.C. coast, I would reject it,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Ottawa.
He said the project must still meet 157 conditions set by the National Energy Board.
“I will create 15,000 new middle class jobs, the majority in the trades,” Trudeau said.
However, the decision was not welcomed by members of the Kwantlen First Nation, whose traditional territory the pipeline passes through.
“We’re frustrated and disappointed with the decision,” said Kwantlen First Nation Councillor Tumia Knott. “We don’t feel it’s adequately considered issues brought forward.”
Along with local environmentalists and some farmers and landowners along the pipeline route, the Kwantlen objected because of the risk of spills and the chance of ecological damage during construction.
The Kwantlen First Nation’s members will discuss what to do next about the issue, Knott said.
Langley Township was also highly critical of the pipeline plan, noting that it comes through a densely populated part of the province and will cost the municipal government an extra $12.8 million over 50 years in costs.
“That was a major stumbling block,” said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese.
He said the Township will continue working on protecting local groundwater in concert with Kinder Morgan, the project’s builder.