Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent announced new wastewater treatment regulations at a stop at Metro Vancouver's Annacis Island treatment plant Wednesday.

Kent sees few Northern Gateway lessons from Kalamazoo spill

But federal environment minister agrees older oil pipelines may need safety review

Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent says a damning report on an oil spill from an Enbridge pipeline in Michigan won’t prompt Ottawa to shift its stance on the company’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline across northern B.C.

“That was a report on an older generation pipeline,” Kent said Wednesday of the Kalamazoo River spill, where U.S. regulators said Enbridge had years of advance warning but failed to prevent the spill and then failed to shut off the flow of oil for 17 hours after the rupture.

He said pipelines remain the safest way of moving oil and that Northern Gateway, if approved, would be built with state-of-the-art technology and emergency response provisions.

Enbridge is in the midst of National Energy Board hearings on the project to run oil sands crude from Edmonton to Kitimat.

“We’re letting the panel do its job and we’re waiting for the eventual recommendations,” Kent said, speaking at a stop in Delta.

Kent was also asked by Black Press whether the Kalamazoo findings are cause for concern about Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline, which is nearly 60 years old and increasingly carrying oil sands crude.

“While there have been minor spills in the past with regard to the Kinder Morgan line, it has been operated by the company in a highly responsible manner,” Kent said, adding it’s subject to regular inspection and oversight.

But he added Ottawa is not certain that’s enough.

“(Natural Resources) Minister Joe Oliver has made it quite clear that given the number of recent spills – larger and smaller – that we do need to look at some of the older pipelines and perhaps consider the sort of inspection regimes and precautions and technology that’s in place today as opposed to when the pipelines were put in the ground.”

Kinder Morgan is applying to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline that runs southwest across B.C. and through the Lower Mainland to Burnaby.

Opponents of the new line don’t want to see more oil tankers ply Vancouver harbour.

But some Fraser Valley residents are also concerned, not just about a second line but also for the integrity of the existing one.

Just Posted

New surcharge for Harrison boaters

Small boat launch surcharge to fund KHSAR

POLL: How should Harrison deal with goose poop?

Monday’s council meeting raised questions about the best way to handle waste around the beach

Sts’ailes First Nation to vote on land code

Land Code would remove nation from 34 sections of Indian Act

KPU campuses go smoke-free starting Jan. 21 – and that includes vaping

‘We didn’t make this decision lightly’ says prez of the Surrey-based institution

Trial begins for man charged with 2010 murder of Mandy Johnson

Langley single mom was fatally shot while in vehicle in Abbotsford

Find Your Fit tour comes to Agassiz

Gives students hands-on experience with career-planning tools

Police investigate sexual assault of teen girl in Abbotsford

Incident occurred Wednesday night on elementary school grounds

White Rock plans to effectively ban legal pot dispensaries

‘We’re not a backwards, redneck community. Get with the times,’ says an opponent

B.C. man, 21, accused of impersonating a police officer

Arrest warrant issued for Surrey man after two women in a vehicle in Langley chased by fake cop car

Opinion: Dare to be smarter

Just say no works for more than just substance abuse

‘Sing Me a Song’ about B.C. for a chance at $1,000 contest prize

Entries due by March 30 for lieutenant-governor’s British Columbia-themed competition

Facing reality of death, B.C. man learns real meaning of life

Even while preparing for the end, something inside Keven Drews won’t let him stop living

Former B.C. fire chief gets seven months for possession of child porn

The 63-year-old pleaded guilty during a brief hearing last year to one count

B.C. VIEWS: Public school ‘crisis’ doesn’t exist

More teachers pour in, union wants results suppressed

Most Read