Big oil vs. big whale: Will pipeline trump iconic orca?

‘Species at risk’ designation could mean unique court challenge for NEB and Trans Mountain project

By Jason Proctor, CBC News

If you don’t live on the West Coast, perhaps it’s hard to appreciate just how poorly approving an oil pipeline at the expense of an endangered population of killer whales might play out.

To give it an Eastern perspective, it’s a bit like saying Bonhomme might have to die to make way for a new museum dedicated to Stephen Harper’s legacy.

In approving Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline expansion this week, the National Energy Board said it weighed the benefits of the project against its burdens.

Among the “adverse effects” deemed to be most “significant” were those likely to impact a population of about 80 southern resident killer whales found off the coast of Vancouver Island.

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Ecojustice launches legal challenge to NEB approval of Kinder Morgan Expansion

Environmental groups launch court challenge over NEB’s Kinder Morgan report

Kinder Morgan recommendation puts one of Canada’s most iconic endangered species, the Southern Resident killer whale, at risk of harm

VANCOUVER – The National Energy Board (NEB) broke the law when it failed to apply the Species at Risk Act in its final report on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project, environmental groups say.

Ecojustice lawyers, representing Living Oceans Society and Raincoast Conservation Foundation, have filed for a judicial review of the NEB’s report that recommended the federal Cabinet approve the Kinder Morgan pipeline.  The groups argue that the NEB’s report is unlawful and used an overly narrow interpretation of the law to avoid addressing harm to Southern Resident killer whales and their critical habitat.

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