Canadian public interest The National Energy Board (NEB or Board) finds that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Project) is in Canada’s public interest, and recommends the Governor in Council (GIC) approve the Project and direct the Board to issue the necessary Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) and amended CPCNs. Should the GIC approve the Project, the associated regulatory instruments (Instruments) issued by the Board would come into effect.
BROKE is a group of local residents whose mission is:
• To prevent the expansion of the Kinder Morgan Pipeline, and related infrastructure in Burnaby, and related supertanker traffic, through education, advocacy and partnership;
• To oppose the degradation of our city, our neighbourhoods, and the natural habitat, that an oil pipeline and related industrialization of Burrard Inlet would bring;
• To raise awareness of Burnaby residents about how the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion and increased tanker traffic would impact our community and local environment;
• To promote a clean and sustainable energy future.
by Jennifer Moreau
The National Energy Board is allowing Kinder Morgan to keep parts of its emergency management plan for the Trans Mountain pipeline system redacted for commercial, security and privacy reasons, despite the provincial government’s insistence on more details.
The provincial government asked for the missing information, along with an oil spill response plan, in a Dec. 5 motion filed with the NEB.
“The province has found the redactions made by Trans Mountain to be excessive, unjustified and prohibitive. The redactions thwart the province’s examination of the EMP (emergency management program) documents, and preclude a thorough understanding of Trans Mountain’s EMP by the board and all intervenors,” the government’s motion reads.
Some of the missing information includes people’s names and phones numbers, bomb threat checklists and valve locations. A section on the Burnaby tank farm is missing information on site drainage and maps for the terminal and the evacuation zone.
But in a decision released last Thursday, the NEB sided with Kinder Morgan.
“In this instance, the board is satisfied that sufficient information has been filed from the existing EMP documents to meet the board’s requirements at this stage in the process,” the response reads. The board went on to explain that the province will be privy to some of the missing documents as Kinder Morgan consults “implicated parties” to update the plans for the proposed pipeline expansion.
Pending NEB approval, Kinder Morgan plans to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline, which would nearly triple the line’s capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000, while increasing tanker traffic nearly seven fold.
As for the oil spill response plan, the NEB cited Kinder Morgan’s line – that it can’t file what it doesn’t have – because Kinder Morgan is waiting for information from Western Canada Marine Response Corporation, the company in charge of cleaning up oil spills on water.
Several municipalities wrote to the NEB in support of the province’s request for more information, including Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford, North Vancouver and West Vancouver, as well as First Nations bands and environmental groups.
Kinder Morgan filed most of its emergency management plan with the NEB last October, which means the documents are publicly available through the board’s website. Kinder Morgan initially wanted to keep the documents secret for proprietary reasons, which the NEB sometimes allows. In this case, the board ruled that public interest outweighed Kinder Morgan’s request to keep the plan confidential.
Kinder Morgan wants to bring 400 Oil Tankers a year to Vancouver, threatening our tourism industry that is the backbone of our province.See the video here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151631224509328&set=vb.160758673951383&type=2&theater
Send a message to our political leaders here:
I want to know as much as I can about it, but it isnt always easy to find information or, in the case of opinion editorials, a different viewpoint. Notwithstanding, I have learned some truths about oil tankers over the past year or so.
Ive learned the federal government has infrastructure that is capable of dealing with an oil spill of up to 10,000 tonnes.
Ive learned that currently about 90 tankers a year are loaded at the Burnaby pipeline terminal and that each carries more than 10 times that amount of oil.
Ive learned we are woefully unprepared to deal with a major oil spill.
Ive learned that the term oil spill clean up is misleading; at best, a clean up operation will capture about 10 per cent of the oil.
Ive learned that the distance to and the weather conditions at a spill site are significant factors in terms of response time and cost.
Ive learned the existing insurance coverage limit for an oil tanker spill is $1.3 billion.
Ive learned the clean up cost of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill was in excess of $2 billion.
Ive learned that neither man nor money could repair the damage to the Prince William Sound marine ecosystems.
Ive learnedafter more than 20 yearsneither can mother nature.
Ive learned bitumen is heavier and more toxic than conventional oil and that the longer it is in water, the more likely it will sink. Ive learned that most spills occur when oil is transferred to or from tankers.
Ive learned that the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion will pump enough bitumen to fill a tanker a day. Ive learned that 365 tankers a year increases the risk of an oil spill by a factor of four.
Ive learned that Ive learned more about oil tankers than I want to.
By BARB JUSTASON, Special to The Vancouver Sun (April 3, 2012) Thursdays federal budget is raising a lot of eyebrows in British Columbia especially the vow to speed up the review of Enbridges proposed Northern Gateway oil pipeline and tanker project.
Two polls released this past week indicated this is going to be a hot-potato issue for B.C. politicians, and the announcements out of Ottawa only increase the urgency for the provincial government to take a stand one way or another.
A Mustel poll commissioned by Burnaby-Douglas New Democratic MP Kennedy Stewart found growing opposition to the Enbridge proposal (although, due to differing methodologies, this is hard to back up).
Mustel tracked a question based on a project description designed by Ipsos Reid on behalf of Enbridge and last asked in December. Heres the wording they used:
As you may know, Enbridge is the company leading the Northern Gateway pipelines project, which is a proposal to build an underground pipeline system between near Edmonton, Alta., and Kitimat, in northern B.C. One pipeline will transport oil to Kitimat for export by tanker to China and other Asian markets. A second pipeline will be used to import condensate [a product used to thin oil products for pipeline transport] to Alberta.
Based on what you know to date, would you say that you generally support or oppose the Northern Gateway pipelines project? Is that strongly or somewhat?
The results? 50 per cent support and 42 per cent oppose.
But what about the oil tankers? Stewarts poll barely touches on the crucial role of tankers in Enbridges proposal, instead masking the scarcity of this information with content the public cant possibly have an opinion about condensate.
My firm, Justason Market Intelligence, also released a poll this week, commissioned by four of B.C.s leading environmental groups, that probed public opinion on the Enbridge proposal, but our poll included important information about the pipeline and the role of supertankers:
One of the worlds largest oil transport companies, Enbridge, has asked Ottawa to approve a plan to allow crude oil to be transported from Albertas oilsands across British Columbia, where it would be loaded onto oil supertankers en route to refineries in Asia. This would bring crude oil supertankers to the coastal inlets of the Great Bear Rainforest for the first time. Have you heard of this plan?
Up until now, crude oil supertankers have not entered B.C.s inside coastal passage because of concerns about oil spills. Ottawa is now considering allowing crude oil supertankers to transport crude oil through these waters. Do you support or oppose allowing crude oil supertankers through B.C.s inside coastal waters?
The results? 22 per cent support and 66 per cent oppose, including 50 per cent who strongly oppose. Only 11 per cent strongly support.
Another way of looking at it: If the researcher asks British Columbians about pipelines, about 50 per cent are relatively tolerant right now. If the researcher asks about pipelines and supertankers, tolerance diminishes.
What an interesting foray into the world of opinion research question design. But what does all this mean?
The reality is that the Enbridge proposal relies completely on the presence of supertankers to travel to and from Kitimat through one of the most ecologically sensitive regions of B.C.s coastal waters, the Great Bear Rainforest.
Eventually, possibly not too long from now, British Columbians will get it. It wont just be a survey question. They will fully understand the real implications, and potential environmental risk, of the pipeline-tanker proposal.
And once they get it, it will be a very big deal indeed.
Opposition exists across all groups in the province according to our poll. B.C. New Democrats oppose the proposal in the highest numbers, but even among B.C. Liberal and B.C. Conservative voters, opposition to the Enbridge pipeline-tanker proposal exceeds support.
The pressure on Premier Christy Clark to state her position on the proposal is growing. In the coming months, this pressure will be deafening. Coming out in favour of the proposal will win her no love in British Columbia, even among B.C. Liberal supporters. Coming out against it will alienate the federal Conservatives.
At the end of the day, the B.C. government must take a position. Timing is everything. A decision now may pre-empt growing public concern about the Enbridge proposal.
A delayed decision may backfire because, as we see in the polling results, the more British Columbians know about proposals that would bring supertankers to B.C., the more opposed they get.
Barb Justason is the principal of Vancouver-based Justason Market Intelligence.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
The Seattle Times
Originally published Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 8:00 PM
State waters might see more oil-tanker traffic
Oil-tanker traffic is expected to increase in Washington waters under an expansion proposal by a Canadian pipeline company.
By Lynda V. Mapes Seattle Times staff reporter
Oil-tanker traffic in Washington waters is set to increase under a proposal floated by Canadian energy giant Kinder Morgan.
The company earlier this month announced that so much interest was expressed by potential customers in long-term purchase contracts for Canadian tar-sands oil that it is bumping up the proposed expansion of its Trans Mountain Pipeline announced last year.
The company said this month it wants to increase its pipeline capacity from 750,000 barrels per day announced last April to 890,000 barrels per day.
That translates to a big jump from its current capacity of 300,000 barrels per day, and an increase in tankers transiting the Salish Sea from five a month to up to 34 a month, if the expansion is approved, said Michael Davies, director of marine development for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
The preponderance of the tanker traffic would travel through the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the northern border of the Olympic Peninsula, proceed between the San Juan and Gulf islands, and enter Vancouver Harbor.
The company will be developing its expansion proposal to Canadas National Energy Board over the coming months, with an eye to beginning operations by 2017, Davies said. The expansion will require twinning the companys existing pipeline, and adding two more berths at its Vancouver-area Westridge Marine Terminal.
The increased tanker traffic would come on top of 450 to 480 more cargo ships per year traveling to the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal near Bellingham, if a proposed bulk coal-shipping terminal is built.
Some see a need for caution, particularly if oil-tanker traffic escalates.
This is one of those moments in history that will significantly increase the risk exposure of a catastrophic oil spill in Puget Sound, within a core area of the killer whales critical habitat, said Fred Felleman, a Seattle resident who serves as an alternate on a steering committee engaged in a vessel- traffic risk-assessment analysis.
You cant just squeeze more traffic through the same waterway and expect everything to remain the same.
The goal of the steering committee is to work with shipping interests and others to craft a common understanding of risks posed by vessel traffic and how to manage them, said Todd Hass, of the Puget Sound Partnership.
Puget Sound has enjoyed a couple of decades without a major spill taking place, but we need to stay vigilant, Hass said. This is our best opportunity to look forward, anticipate changes before they are upon us, and make adjustments accordingly so that we reduce the chance that we will have a major catastrophic spill for the foreseeable future.
Under the expansion, the number of tankers plying the Strait of Juan de Fuca would increase by more than 50 percent, to more than 1,000 a year, including 408 tankers shipping Kinder Morgans Trans Mountain Pipeline tar-sands oil, Davies said.
Chip Boothe, prevention section manager for the Washington Department of Ecologys spill- prevention preparedness and response program, noted that while tanker traffic is scheduled to increase, it still would be a small portion of the approximately 5,000 to 6,000 transits a year of large commercial vessels coming into the region.
We are not minimizing the potential for it to have an impact, but I am appreciating that we have a pretty robust marine-navigation safety system in this region, Boothe said.
Yes, there is a potential for increased traffic. Is that increase adequately managed in the system we already have in place, or does it need to be modified to assure we dont increase risk? That is what we will be looking at.
U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., in the 2012-13 appropriations bill for the U.S. Coast Guard, required a 180-day study to assess whether spill responses in place in the state would be adequate to address increased tanker traffic and tar-sands oil, which is different from Alaskan crude.
Davies said his company has never had a spill from a tanker at its dock since the Westridge terminal began operations in the 1950s.
Under the expansion, the company would be shipping the same types of oil it has since the mid-1980s, Davies said, in the same size ships.
This is really nothing new to the pipeline, or the marine environment, Davies said.