Trans Mountain Agrees to Reroute Pipeline Around Indigenous Area

By Jason Cockerham

(P&GJ) — The Trans Mountain pipeline has agreed to reroute a portion of its expansion project around an indigenous area, according to a filing with Canadian energy regulators. 

Map of the new proposed pipeline route. (photo: Trans Mountain)

The original pipeline route would have crossed an area of the Coldwater River housing an underground aquifer that is used by the Coldwater Indian Band.

The company filed a revised plan with the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) on Friday detailing a new route which would include adding about 2 more miles of pipeline to avoid the area.

The Coldwater Band, along with other tribes, challenged the initial expansion plan filed in 2013 over concerns that work on the pipeline could contaminate the aquifer.

Trans Mountain was ordered to conduct additional environmental studies on the proposed route and, in doing so, found a new route that was technically feasible and unopposed by the Coldwater Community.

Trans Mountain is hoping to nearly triple the capacity of the current crude oil pipeline to 890,000 bpd by adding a twin to the existing 715-mile pipe.

Any additional costs to the $9.4 billion project were not detailed.

Trans Mountain expects to have the expansion in service by December 2022.

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