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July 27,2007 Tri City News

By Lara Gerrits The Tri-City News

Many municipalities have an underground system of oil pipelines few know about.

For instance, Kinder Morgan Canada operates a 1,150 km pipeline known as the Trans Mountain Pipeline System. It was a portion of this system that erupted Tuesday.

The pipes, operating since 1953, ship crude and refined petroleum from Edmonton to Burnaby. It takes approximately 10 to 14 days for the oil to arrive.

Coquitlam soil hosts some 17 km of this system. It begins from underneath the Fraser River, just downstream from the Port Mann bridge, and proceeds north across Highway 1 and jogs east and up towards Poirier Street. From there, it travels north-west to Cottonwood Avenue until it meets the Burnaby boundary.

Port Moody has an oil transmission line running through the west side of the city, up through Glenayre and underneath Burrard Inlet to the Imperial Oil terminal on Ioco Road.

It’s the responsibility of each pipeline operator to maintain the systems, although strict regulations are enforced by the National Energy Board, said spokesperson Andrew Cameron. (The NEB is the lead agency with respect to the oil clean-up.)

“Any deregulated companies are required to have an integrity management plan which the NEB reviews and audits,” he said. “The NEB also reviews and assesses companies with emergency response programs and the NEB observes or participates in responsive exercises with the companies it regulates.”

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