07/30/2015 02:46 EDT | Updated 07/30/2016 05:59 EDT

Kinder Morgan pipeline hearings denied extra security by Burnaby

The National Energy Board has to find another way to provide extra security at controversial Trans Mountain pipeline expansion hearings, which are expected to draw up to 800 participants in Burnaby, B.C. in September.

The City of Burnaby has refused, saying it can't spare the police manpower.

The NEB wrote to the city requesting eight RCMP officers to help provide extra security at the Burnaby hotel where hearings are set to run through September.

The Kinder Morgan proposal would expand the existing oil delivery system between Edmonton and Burnaby, adding 987 kilometres of new pipeline. For months, protests raged last year against the planned expansion when drilling started on Burnaby mountain.

Yesterday the city refused the NEB's request despite the board's promise to pay for the extra officers.

"We said we didn't have the available resources to be able to accommodate that kind of request," said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan, who is a vocal opponent of the pipeline expansion.

He insists the city is not punishing the NEB and that it's just too strapped to offer the extra security. Instead, the city suggested the NEB ask RCMP E-Division directly to provide the officers.

"It was simply not being in a position to dedicate those resources without leaving ourselves short."

Tara O'Donovan, a spokeswoman for the NEB, says security is a top concern.

"We're allowing every intervenor plus one, so that potentially could be up to 800 people in the room."

The NEB said it is reviewing other options.