Sidney, BC – Today’s announcement by British Columbia’s NDP government is welcome news for BC’s coast and the groups – like Raincoast Conservation Foundation – who are already challenging the NEB and federal government approval of the Trans Mountain expansion. From iconic Southern Resident killer whales to Fraser River salmon, and the coastal economies that depend on the health of the Salish Sea, today’s decision to legally challenge the Trans Mountain expansion is well justified by scientific evidence and economic risk to BC’s coast.
“With our own lawsuit opposing the Trans Mountain expansion before the courts, Raincoast commends the BC government’s decision to legally challenge the Kinder Morgan mega-project,” said Chris Genovali, Raincoast Executive Director. “As intervenors in the NEB review of Trans Mountain, Raincoast submitted some 500 pages of scientific evidence showing why the expansion should not proceed. We are gratified the Province has recognized the grave threat Trans Mountain poses to the Fraser River and the Salish Sea and is acting accordingly.”
Today’s decision by the provincial government reinforces the importance of BC’s most iconic wildlife, the endangered Southern Resident killer whales and Fraser River salmon. “Our analysis submitted to the NEB shows that noise and disturbance from oil tankers will intensify existing threats, accelerate the rate of decline and lead to the possible extinction of the Southern Resident killer whales,” said Raincoast’s Wild Salmon Program Director Misty MacDuffee. “Neither Kinder Morgan nor the Federal government contest this; there doesn’t need to be an oil spill to do significant harm to the Southern Residents.”
The Fraser is one of the world’s most important salmon rivers. “The Lower Fraser River acts as a bottleneck through which the entire diversity of Fraser River salmon populations must pass twice during their lifetime. There is no safe time of the year for an oil spill. A spill during peak migration of the Fraser’s unique salmon populations could be devastating to these runs” added MacDuffee. Today’s announcement is about the BC government standing up for coastal communities, species and economies.