Council files for Intervener status against virtual pipeline

Lynsey Kitching


Council is not happy with the proposed virtual pipeline brought forth by Pacific Northern Gas N.E. Ltd. (PNG), which would connect Dawson Creek to Tumbler Ridge to accommodate for more usage in the area.

To build the pipeline (which isn’t a pipeline, but rather transporting natural gas by truck) PNG will have to build a Compressed Natural Gas facility in Dawson Creek.

There is also the option of utilizing the current sweet gas pipeline located 15 km outside of town, however that option is even more eye wincing, with a price tag of $3 million.

Essentially, much of the cost to build the facility according to the proposal will fall on the shoulders of residents of Tumbler Ridge. Tumbler Ridge will bear $2.1 million of the cost, which would be included in the rate base. Though, much of the increase will be due to the mines.

The total increase (as stated in last week’s article) will be about a $2.67 increase to $12.17 per GJ for residential customers in Tumbler Ridge. This increase is “planned” to take effect in 2014.

With council already having been upset about the initial increase last month, there is now even more cause for concern. So the district is taking action.

The district has now officially (as of council on August 8) registered as an intervener. PNG will also be coming to the next council meeting on August 20th to allow council to ask their questions, and have them answered.

CAO Barry Elliott said, “They have a presentation on the information, I have told them some of councils concerns and let them know this is the opportunity for them to answer any questions council has about the application.”

Elliott advised council now has time to formulate more questions.

At the last council meeting PNG also provided a regulatory timetable for the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity to Acquire, Construct, Own and Operate a Compressed Natural Gas Virtual Pipeline between the Communities of Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge.

Anyone (that means you too) can register to be an intervener as long as you register by August 16th. There are nine steps to the process, finishing with a PNG written reply submission due on October 4th.

Councillor McPherson said, “We should have a meeting about this and set out how we are going to approach this. Give us a chance to argue the point. This is dead wrong from what I’ve read.”

Councillor Snyder pointed to the necessity of having the mines present at the August 20 meeting. He said, “The mines should be at that meeting because if they are going to be taking the amount of gas they say, are they still going to be buying all these trucks and bringing this [if the mines don’t end up needing that much natural gas]. Are the mines in communication with PNG?”

Mayor replied, “I’ve certainly been in contact with Ray Proulx of Teck all throughout the process and they are familiar with our concerns and are watching the situation.”

If you would like to have your concerns heard by PNG, either submit for intervener status, or attend the council meeting on August 20, 2013.