Pipeline Peril

Calgary Herald\
January 4, 2009\
by Chris Genovali\
Re: “Syncrude duck deaths cap oilpatch’s ‘dirty’ year,” Dec. 29. The oilsands could impact avian life beyond the waterfowl migrating through and nesting in Alberta’s boreal forest.\
If Enbridge is allowed to construct its dual oil and condensate pipeline joining the oilsands with a terminal in Kitimat, B. C., then marine birds and the ecosystems they depend upon will be put at significant risk. Enbridge plans to build a twin pipeline from northern Alberta to the B. C. coast.\
Condensate tankers and oil tankers at least as big as the Exxon Valdez would ply B. C.’s northern coastline on virtually a daily basis, entering Douglas Channel within eyesight of where the 120-metre ferry Queen of the North sank in 2006.\
The pipeline would ship more than 500,000 barrels of crude oil per day, and twice a week 350-metre-long supertankers would pass the spot where the ferry sank as they carry crude to markets in the United States and Asia.\
The B.C. coast supports a stunning and unique diversity of seabirds, waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. A number of these species are designated as ‘At Risk’ by federal and provincial legislation. A Valdez-like spill would be devastating for them and their environments.\
Although birds are generally the most abundant and conspicuous victims of oil tanker accidents, the energy corridor scheme poses a threat to cetacean populations on the coast as well, including prospective spills, underwater noise and ship strikes associated with the transport of crude.\
Chris Genovali is Executive Director of Raincoast Conservation.

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Chris Genovali, executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
Chris Genovali, Executive Director

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