Even without spill, tankers are risky: report

Salish sea cover

Richard Watts / Times Colonist
January 20, 2016

Southern Vancouver Island is at risk from an oil spill, says a new scientific report on threats to the Salish Sea.

The 108-page report, to be released today by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, also says various studies have shown Canada is ill prepared to deal with a large oil spill in southern B.C. waters.

Kinder Morgan, with its Trans Mountain application to pipe diluted bitumen from Fort McMurray to the B.C. coast, came in for special scrutiny and a call for caution in the report.

The company’s “conclusions are fraught with an unacceptable degree of uncertainty,” the report says.

Misty MacDuffee, a biologist with Raincoast Conservation, said the report was several years in the making. It draws on information from a wide variety of sources — economic, industrial, biological and cultural — to describe the state of the Salish Sea and the present dangers to it, she said.

The Salish Sea includes Puget Sound, the Strait of Georgia and Juan de Fuca Strait.

MacDuffee said the report is an attempt to demonstrate the extent of the damage being courted as industrial activity increases, whether from tankers, container ships or damage to the Fraser River estuary…

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