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REPORTING · 28th June 2012
Walter McFarlane
Watch the presentations on Kitimat Daily Videos

On Friday, June 8th, Douglas Channel Watch hosted a session entitled: “What Enbridge isn’t Telling Us.” About 40-50 people from the community came out to hear what was said.

Murray Minchin took to the podium first and shared a lot of information, much of which has been presented in City Council Meetings over the last year.

He explained what diluted bitumen is. They will be sending 83 million litres of bitumen will be traveling to Kitimat a day, which is around 255 super tankers per day. There is a sentence in the proposal which suggested they will be increasing the number to 364 super tankers per year.

An intervener found out a third phase to the project which will lead to 406 super tankers per year. This means there will be 812 super tanker trips back and forth to Kitimat per year.

Minchin explained a pipeline could not detect a spill the size 2.7 million litres per day. In this scenario, a spill would have to reach civilization to be noticed.

He talked about concerns about Earthquakes, Nimbus Mountain Avalanches, the Spill in the Kalamazoo River and flash floods at Hunter Creek. He concluded his presentation by explaining how the oil would affect the river during a spill and where Enbridge plans to boom the river in the spill.

“If you remain silent, it’s like your accepting the project,” said Minchin.

Dave Shannon Discussed Tankers, Ports and Tanker Routes. He showed how the Douglas Channel is portrayed as being open ocean, when it is not. Shannon showed, with slides of Google Earth, many of the ports around the world and how they are straight and lead to open ocean, where as the Douglas Channel is long, and has sharp turns.

He went through several spills and why they happened. Some spills were caused after both tugs and pilots had left the tankers. Shannon also discussed other tankers which have been damaged in this area.

Shannon concluded with a list of spills from super tankers, how the spill occurred, their deadweight tonnage and whether or not they were double hulled.

Cheryl Brown presented on the TERMPOL Process and what Enbridge has to do and what Enbridge is volunteering to do. She pointed out these are voluntary and Enbridge does not have to carry them out. She stated there was no legislation in the country to give marine management some teeth.

She stated the ships coming to get the natural gas from the LNG projects are the same size as the super tankers and are perhaps bigger, yet there is no coordination between the TERMPOLs for Enbridge and the LNG projects. The port of Kitimat is estimated to have 900 transits per year and the District of Kitimat has not said anything about this.

“These are the waters of [the people] of Kitimat. No one is stepping forward to protect them, i.e. governments. As citizens, we are trying to take an active role in the Enbridge proposal and critiquing it through the JRP and as citizens, we expect governments to take responsible roles in the protection of our environment in a sustainable way. Our governments are not doing this, either Federal, Provincial or Municpal. All levels are waiting for the results of the JRP except the Federal which we know their decision,” said Brown.

She concluded by saying the community is at the mercy of governments who will not act and corporations.