Pipeline company and farmer butt heads over land access
A gas pipeline that runs diagonally across Chilliwack farmland needs to be replaced for safety reasons, but the landholder and the pipeline owner are at odds over how it will go ahead.
Retired Chilliwack farmer Gord Mitchell wants oil and gas company Spectra Energy to sign an agreement before it comes back onto his land.
But the Houston, Texas-based company said it has no intentions of renegotiating rights of access to the pipeline–rights, it says, it already has.
The standoff originates from a 2011 incident in which the gas company accessed Mitchell’s property in rainy weather. He says the work damaged the soil and has decimated his crops every year since.
“Our purpose in opposing them now is we want a very comprehsnive soil-handling contract so that if they’re not doing it properly, we can stop them,” Mitchell said in an interview with Stephen Quinn on CBC Radio One’s On the Coast.
In an interview with CBC News, Spectra Energy said it compensated Mitchell with $68,000 for the loss of his crops. But the farmer said the payment amounted to only a fraction of the financial loss he suffered at the time, and did not account for future losses caused by the damage.
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