Pollutions & Toxics

Tankers in Georgia Strait - what's at risk?

Currently, the oil and gas company Kinder Morgan plans to increase the capacity of the Trans Mountain pipeline from its current 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. This expansion would be for the sole purpose of transporting diluted bitumen from the tar sands for export, primarily to Asia. This increase translates into over 400 tankers per year carrying toxic tar sands oil through busy Burrard Inlet and across the Salish Sea.

With the increased volume of crude oil plying our waters comes an increased risk of a major oil spill, which would impact important marine and estuarine ecologies throughout Georgia Strait. A spill would also result in damage to our economy and quality of life, from ruined fisheries to impacts on tourism and recreation.

Spill response capability and funding in BC is woefully inadequate, and lags far behind other jurisdictions. The best spill response in the world only recovers 25% of the oil, which leaves an unacceptable 75% left in the environment - forever.  

The Kinder Morgan proposal is also on the frontlines of the climate change challenge. The tar sands oil - the dirtiest fuel on earth - that would be carried by Kinder Morgan would be responsible for emissions of up to 175 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year - four times more than BC's entire annual C02 emissions.

Approving the Kinder Morgan proposal would lock BC into a climate polluting path, away from the climate leadership the province has been taking steps towards, and away from investment in alternative sources of energy


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In-Depth Reports

  • Fraser River Tanker Traffic Study - Full Report (June, 2012)
  • Fraser River Tanker Traffic Study - Summary (June, 2012)

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