REPORTING · 5th April 2014
Enbridge and the Joint Review Panel consider our Kitimat River, a sacrificial river.
I had the opportunity to cross examine several of Enbridge's expert witness panels during the JRP final hearings, while representing Douglas Channel Watch.
During cross examination, Enbridge admitted that two million litres of diluted bitumen could spill into the upper Kitimat River after a full bore rupture at Hunter Creek, and the spill could reach the estuary in as little as four hours. Further questioning revealed that Enbridge's spill response commander would take four hours or more to arrive on scene.
This means over 90% of the Kitimat River would have been polluted, and Enbridge would just be showing up to evaluate whether it was safe for responders to approach and begin containing the spill site.
Enbridge also admitted that burning the estuary and dredging the river bottom would be considered using a harm versus benefit analysis. It is scary to contemplate how catastrophic a spill would have to be for Enbridge to consider torching the Kitimat River estuary, or, dredging the spawning gravel out of the river bottom as being beneficial.
The JRP determined that spills would be "localized events" with "temporary effects", that the environment would recover in time to something "similar" to what was there before, and that people would "adapt". They also considered significant adverse environmental effects (large spills) into BC's salmon rivers and north coast marine environment would be "justified in the circumstances".
Then, there are the supertankers...
I have difficulty understanding how anyone can support this proposal for a handful of local jobs, while it threatens thousands of already existing commercial fishing and tourism related jobs in the Fraser, Skeena and Kitimat River watersheds, as well as in BC's near pristine north coast marine environment.
So much risk, so little gain, so much to lose. If we don't stand up and defend our unborn great, great grandchildren's birthright, who will? Please, join me in voting NO! on April 12th.
Comment by Roberta King on 5th April 2014
Well said, and thank you for protecting our BC heritage from these rapacious monsters from Enbridge.