Local landowners and taxpayers should educate themselves about what it would mean to them if Kinder Morgan twins its pipeline through the North Thompson Valley, says Little Fort resident Kathy Karlstrom.
“If there is any damage to the pipeline and they can prove it is our fault, we are liable,” she said.
She and her husband, Richard Erlam, were surprised a few weeks ago to receive a call from a company representative because Erlam had skidded some logs across the pipeline.
They have a crossing with a sign that apparently dates back to when the pipeline was built in the 1950s, but it isn’t on Kinder Morgan’s map, Karlstrom said.
A second representative from the company’s land department called later and was quite reasonable, she reported, but the couple apparently found the first representative difficult to deal with.
A previous owner was paid $83 for the right-of-way when the Trans Mountain pipeline was built in the early 1950s. The couple bought the land in 1988.
Changes made to the laws and regulations since then have shifted more liability onto the backs of landowners, she felt.
Karlstrom would like to see someone from Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowners Association (CAEPLA) come to the North Thompson and tell people about the rules and the responsibilities of having a pipeline run through their property or neighborhood.
“I think it would be great for all landowners and taxpayers to be informed,” she said. “It’s probably not a good idea to wait until work starts.”