Eleven months after Kinder Morgan illegally placed snow fencing in salmon spawning streams, they have finally been reprimanded. Kinder Morgan was fined a total of $920 for 4 separate infractions of the Water Sustainability Act after illegally tampering with salmon spawning in salmon creeks last August.
“Kinder Morgan prefers to ignore regulations that protect wild salmon and the environment from construction damage when it is inconvenient, and no wonder, when paltry fines like this are the only consequence. This sends a clear message to industry that breaking the law has no consequences, unlike the conscience-driven civil disobedience of Water Protectors who now face up to $5,000 fines for protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project,” said Sarah Beuhler, one of the spokespeople for Protect the Inlet, the coalition that has been occupying the Watch House on Burnaby Mountain since March 10.
Last August, community watchdog Lynn Perrin discovered the salmon spawning construction violations after the company posted about it on their website, as there was seemingly zero oversight on the construction process. Subject to 157 conditions on approval by the NEB and the Cabinet, Kinder Morgan has applied for relief from permitting processes and jurisdictions multiple times, demonstrating its inability to comply with the most basic of construction guidelines.
Kinder Morgan was recently cited by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in April for pile driving in Burrard Inlet at levels much louder than those permitted during construction. Construction exceeded noise rules multiple times from January to May and the company failed to report the violations as required at the time.
“Justin Trudeau may have bought this pipeline and tanker project with taxpayer money, but he has hired the same group of people who have flouted the rules protecting the environment at every turn to build it,” continued Beuhler. “We simply cannot trust these people to abide by any guidelines on constructing this mega project. What is even worse is that this sends the message to potential every mega project builder that they can violate our rules with impunity for a tiny, if not insultingly small, fine.”