Okay. I’m trying to organize my thoughts on this after going through this information, but it might come out a little jumbled. I apologize if my train of thought or presentation isn’t super clear-cut.
I found this to be an interesting read from a local fisherman in the area, highlighting some of the risks of the strait and the entrance to the channel. I guess its similar to the mariner’s report…
I found some interesting information on a tanker moratorium in BC, with a focus on the area up north that the supertankers carrying this dirty, dirty bitumen will be theoretically traveling through:
“Tanker moratorium in British Columbia
There has been an informal moratorium on large tanker traffic in Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait, and the Queen Charlotte Sound since 1972. Since then, the federal and provincial governments have commissioned periodic studies to reassess whether to lift the tanker moratorium. Each study has concluded that the risk of tanker spills is too high. In 2003–2004, the federal government initiated a three-part review process, including a scientific review by the Royal Society of Canada(the RSC report), a First Nations engagement process (the Brooks Report), and a public review process (the Priddle Panel). The RSC report concluded that "the present restriction on tanker traffic along the West Coast of British Columbia should be maintained for the time being
In 2009, the Canadian government's position was that there is no moratorium on tanker traffic in the coast waters of British Columbia. However, on December 7, 2010, Canada's environmental watchdog (Scott Vaughan, commissioner of the environment and sustainable development) in a damning report stated "Canada's government is not ready to handle a major oil spill from a tanker, in part because its emergency response plan is out of date".
In December 2010, the federal House of Commons passed a non-binding motion to ban bulk oil tanker traffic in the Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.”
I normally wouldn’t quote or source anyting from wikipedia, but I checked on the sources used and they seem legitimate, although some of them are defunct and I had to hunt through websites to actually download the reports and review them. IT was a good summary though. I also corroborated it with a couple of Transport Canada reports and webpages. Here is the RSC report.
I also went through Scot Vaughan’s report. This is the Comissioner of the Environemtn and sustainable development’s report.
A group of professional engineers took the Enbridge assessment to task with a seriously in-depth analysis.
These are some of the points that the CPE made that I agree with completely:
Enbridge provides no justification or documentation for the ‘scaling factors’ they used to calculate the 10% risk of a major spill.
Enbridge’s liability ends when the tankers leave the terminal. Who’s responsible for a spill along the narrow 300 km waterway from Kitimat to the open ocean?
Enbridge’s risk analysis planned for 220 tankers per year through Douglas Channel. New LNG projects will bring that number to over 600.
Federal scientists, testifying during the JRP hearings, say more research is needed on diluted bitumen before they can be sure a cleanup is even possible.
The port of Vancouver is listed as one of the highest risk areas for a marine spill, collision or disaster in the country due to the nature of the products being shipped in and out of our port, the traffic and the Second Narrows. The increased tanker traffic and the cargo they will be carrying would increase the risk in the Douglas Channel to similar levels.
Basically, my major concerns come from the fact that I don’t believe we are capable of handling the increased tanker traffic and likelihood of a spill. While the port of Vancouver has a good record despite the risk level, it is also easier to access with regard to response teams and marine clean-ups, etc. Our response to a disaster down here is woefully inadequate… it scares me to think of how difficult it would be to deal with a marine spill when it happens (and it will happen).
Second Narrows is notorious for being difficult to traverse; the douglas channel is just as difficult to navigate and is much longer… Which increases the probability of something happening. Most importantly, we have no idea how to clean up bitumen… It could cause irreparable damage to our ecosystem and would devastate our economy.
I would oppose the tanker traffic regardless of where it was coming from along our coastline.