BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – You can’t miss it. A chain link fence topped with razor wire is now floating in Burrard Inlet, surrounding Kinder Morgan’s oil tanker terminal.
“It is in the middle of Burrard Inlet on the south side by the Westridge Marine Terminal, probably eight to 10 feet high. They have some really industrial-strength fencing and then it’s topped-off with razor wire, so coils and coils of razor wire,” says Bob Putnam, a local avid kayaker.
The fence is meant to protect the area during construction and went up just days after a protest from a group of kayakers on the water.
“It starts on shore and it goes out probably 400 or 500 metres from shore, I’m guessing. And then it runs east towards the end of their property which is probably about maybe a kilometre and then back into shore,” says Putnam who also owns a kayak rental shop in Deep Cove.
“I was pretty shocked about it. They look very industrial and military, actually. I was pretty shocked. I sort of knew something was coming but what also worried me about it is that it’s sort of a foreboding about what’s to come with the increased tanker traffic that’s going to happen.”
In a statement, Kinder Morgan calls the fence a floating safety boom and says it “is designed to ensure the safety of commercial and recreational users of the local marine area, and the safety of workers working within a clearly demarcated working zone.” (See below for more on the statement from Kinder Morgan)
The construction at the terminal is meant to accommodate an anticipated increase in tanker traffic once the company finishes its $7.4-billion expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline.
“It seems a bit overkill,” says Putnam of the fence, directly across from North Vancouver’s Cates Park.
“I think we’re a pretty peaceful society. If people are protesting about it verbally and making their politicians know about their concerns, peaceful protest is good. I wouldn’t think there would be too many radicals that would do something terrible. I think more people need to know about it. The increased tanker traffic is going to have a big impact on people that use the area for recreation.”
Statement from Kinder Morgan to NEWS 1130:
Westridge Marine Terminal is an active construction site. We have installed a floating construction safety boom to protect workers and marine waterway users in the area. The boom also enables safe operations of the terminal throughout a complex construction project.
As required by the National Energy Board, Trans Mountain prepared a Navigation and Navigation Safety Plan for Westridge Marine Terminal. The safety boom is a key element of this plan, and is designed to ensure the safety of commercial and recreational users of the local marine area, and the safety of workers working within a clearly demarcated working zone.