Everyone living in the Lower Mainland by now is well aware the big one is coming at some point.
But the politicians in the Village Belcarra are concerned a seismic event along Kinder Morgan's proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project and its Westridge Marine
Terminal on Burnaby Mountain could rupture the oil pipeline spilling into the Burrard Inlet.
Out of that concern, the village asked Kinder Morgan to review geological studies of the Lower Mainland and Burnaby Mountain that have been conducted in the past 90 years.
The result of the review, handled by geotechnical consulting firm BCG Engineering and completed this spring, concluded at present time there are no known active faults - but it doesn't mean there are no active faults.
The report was made public last week on the village's website. The report however, noted recent work in the U.S. has revealed active faults within five kilometres of Canada's border and it is possible that active faults could be found north of the border.
As it pertains specifically to Burnaby Mountain, the report suggested there is no evidence to conclude that faults purported to exist are real or active.
The report also recommended follow-up work that includes further geological and geotechnical investigation to understand the geological processes and hazards around Burnaby Mountain and the effect on Kinder Morgan facilities and its expansion plans.
Belcarra's mayor Ralph Drew said it was positive the work is being done, but added it was long overdue.
He said he wouldn't be surprised if there is eventually confirmation that active faults are under Burnaby Mountain. And if that is the case, Drew said it not only has implications for the pipeline, but other oil companies that have facilities on the mountain.
Though the mayor said the faults don't necessarily mean Kinder Morgan's project can't move forward, but provision have to be made for emergency preparedness.
"You have to build in to your design the potential of rupture due to some sort of seismic activity," Drew told the Tri-Cities NOW, adding emergency response plans also need to be considered in case of an earthquake.
"It's very much in the Belcarra's interest, because if there is a rupture on the north slope leading down, it's going to put oil in the water and we're under water," he said.
The author of the BGC report Alex Baumgard has been invited to answer questions at a Belcarra council meeting scheduled for Sept. 9. Kinder Morgan released details in June of the proposed route for the twinning of the pipeline that stretches from Edmonton to Burrard Inlet.
The proposed route would have the line run east of the Port Mann Bridge through the Fraser River hitting land near United Boulevard. The line would continue past the Eaglequest Golf complex before meeting up with the Lougheed Highway corridor to Burnaby.
The current portion of the line enters Coquitlam near Schooner Street.
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