A new pipeline could soon run about one kilometre from Princeton, directly under the Taylor Mill Trailer Park, the Similkameen River, Old Hedley Road and through the Lower Similkameen Indian Band reserve.
FortisBC is looking to run a 161-kilometre natural gas pipeline east of Princeton from Kingsvale to Oliver. The proposed pipeline would loop an existing pipeline between the two communities.
Homeowners who have property in the pipeline’s planned path or live within 250 metres have been given a letter informing them of the plan. The letter says Fortis will be communicating with affected landowners during 2012.
“No houses would have to be moved – the pipeline isn’t close enough,” said project manager Bill Manery.
Rocky land on either side of the trailer park isn’t appropriate for the pipeline to go through, he said.
Manery said he hasn’t heard any opposition to the pipeline but has answered questions from Princeton residents.
The 24-inch diameter Kingsvale-Oliver pipeline would provide better access to new shale gas developments in Northeast B.C.
Fortis has submitted applications to the BC Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. The pipeline is scheduled to be built in 2016 if the project is approved.
Public input is being sought on the pipeline’s project description. A public information session was held on June 11 in Princeton, and recommendations are allowed until June 28.
Near Princeton, the pipeline would diverge from the existing pipeline for 47 kilometres before returning to parallel the pipeline west of Keremeos. It will ultimately connect to a Forstis station near Gallagher Lake in Oliver.
Homeowners who are in the path of the pipeline would be compensated for the affect the pipeline would have on their property, including damage to crops or cattle operation, Manery said. Fortis would negotiate with each property owner separately, he added.
The project area lies in the claimed territories of the Nlaka’pamux, Ktunaxa and Okanagan Nations. As many 28 First Nations may be associated with the project, FortisBC reports.
A new compressor station would be installed in Kingsvale, about 30 kilometres south of Merritt.
The project also includes compressor stations near Trail and Yahk.
Comments about the proposed pipeline can be submitted online to the Environmental Assessment Office, by fax to 250-356-6448 or by mail to:
Scott Bailey, executive project director
Environmental Assessment Office
PO Box 9426 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9V1