COULDA,SHOULDA,WOULDA

Had the Enbridge Board listened to their new Enbridge President and C.E.O.,AL Monaco ,who hinted to the media, that the Enbridge Natural Gas Pipeline(NGP) , ‘possibly’ could be moved out of Douglas Channel,….. NGP might have been built by now !!

Enbridge and Kinder Morgan leaders likely relied on PM Harper’s ‘signal’ that he could whisk these vital pipeline projects through Parliament…?
Now a jinx appeared… a new Prime Minister,(who promised to use science …but soon forgot) … suddenly made a ‘knee jerk’ decision to ban oil tanker traffic from the BC north Coast… and then with similar’ knee jerk’ precision, APPROVED the ill-conceived Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline…!

Mr. Monaco’s recent comment to oil biggies , that it’s …‘about actually LISTENING…and RESPONDNING ‘… should give us some hope…
Our Senate has just released THEIR ‘critical’ pipelines report…where they made recommendations on how the government can restore legitimacy to the pipeline approval process !
Imagine this scenario ,where our much impugned Senate rejects government’s hastily decided, unscientifically proven, pipeline decisions… …and instructs Government to find the ‘least- risk’ marine ROUTE AND avoid needless tanker travel through busy, or island bound waters…
Build ONE PIPELINE SYSTEM, to an open water location near Port Simpson …and celebrate a science based decision…that would REMOVE the 7 fold increase of dilbit laden tankers in the busy, island bound waters…and gain those much needed export revenues !

.
Carl Shalansky,P Eng ,retired
https://redfern3359.wordpress.com
North Vancouver,
604 986 4657

DO THE SCIENCE–THEN DECIDE..

Canada’s national and Provincial leaders have called for a ‘world class’ diluted bitumen (dilbit) spill containment and recovery system…Until such a ‘contraption’ is shown to work satisfactorily in REAL OCEAN CONDITIONS we should avoid allowing these behemoth bitumen carriers in our busy, environmentally sensitive waters , potentially affecting our multi-billion dollar commercial/environmentally related ‘industries’ —certainly not in our shared island-bound SALISH SEA.
Why not combine Enbridge(Canada’s other wannabe pipeline proponent) and Kinder Morgan,Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline(TMEP) pipelines ,from Alberta, to a port location near Port Simpson, on the BC north coast…a location that minimizes the probability of spills …few islands…and little marine traffic. Such a decision should be supported by expert, INDEPENDENT, risk specialists –Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proclaimed that ‘science’ will help them to decide..! Instead our PM has, decided that he PREFERS the TMEP …without showing any supporting science’…
Typically, risk analysis studies should/would been prepared before any in major investment decisions, such as management of major maritime transportation infrastructure !
Two studies are discussed…
1. Our BC government did have a consultant study marine traffic on our coast.. see
“WEST COAST SPILL RESPONSE STUDY, VOLUME 2:
1.1 Purpose……the BC government has a strong interest in understanding the risks associated…
with increased shipping… “..THEN we see the NOTE 1 ……”This is NOT a risk assessment…!!
…what the ??

2.FINAL REPORT: VTRA ( Vessel Traffic RISK Assessment) funded by U.S. EPA.
http://www.seas.gwu.edu/~dorpjr/VTRA/PSP/FINAL%20REPORT/PSP%20FINAL%20REPORT%20-%20DRAFT%20012214%20-%20HQ.pdf
The VTRA study area includes BC marine traffic in shared Salish Sea waters..:

Why did our pipeline review Energy Board review not include this available risk study material..
Our leaders must demand that the ‘best science’ be applied when making these vital decisions…or are we left ,instead, with decisions made by the pipe-liner bean counters ?
Carl Shalansky , P. Eng.(retired)
North Vancouver, BC…6049864657
https://redfern3359.wordpress.com

NOT WORRY–OUR LEADER CARES !

Our government approves the ill-conceived Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline (TMEP).  without any expert independent(science) risk assessment….Recall that our campaigning PM , stated that he ‘preferred’  the TMEP…  …I suppose no one is surprised  that ,in Cabinet, the boss’ preferences are ‘the best’ ….!

Have the BC Cabinet Ministers not heard their outraged  BC electorate  ? A TMEP rep tells local media ….”.by implementing well-known and proven mitigation, there are no environmental …impacts ….that cannot be ‘mitigated”…!      ….just more meaningless words…

Our new leader did stop the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline because he wanted to protect the Great Bear Rainforest…but he didn’t seem to care that the southern BC waters  would be subjected to a 700% increase in dilbit laden tankers in our established, busy ,multibillion dollar ,environmentally related visitor industry…or OUR already threated BC sea critters .

Our now ‘unshackled ‘ Senate has just produced a comprehensive pipelines report    that severely pans the way in which our government has handled this most vital national pipelines export plans…The much lampooned Senate group would soon regain stature IF THEY stood up to government  and ‘encouraged’ them to do the science and find the least-risk pipeline and marine routes….where consequences of a dlbit spill possibility is minimized….likely nowhere near Douglas Channel, Burrard Inlet ..or the International Salish Sea…Our Washington State  neighbours are watching us …nervously !!

 

Carl Shalansky, P. Eng. (Retired)

Blog: https://redfern3359.wordpress.com/

(604) 986-4657

 

 

 

 

 

 

FINALLY…SCIENCE TO HELP US DECIDE,,,

http://www.nsnews.com/news/more-pipeline-suits-launched-by-first-nations-1.7713393

…. ‘risks were significantly understated’ is the key issue” !… …. Here you have an opportunity to make it ‘scientifically’ evident  that the Trans Mountain Expansion Pipeline (TMEP) ,as proposed, is not an acceptable  !

 

Recall when  Harper government ,wanted  to see a ‘risk assessment’ for the BC coast… http://www.nsnews.com/opinion/letters/letter-let-science-determine-best-pipeline-scheme-1.2131224  .

Has anyone seen this study ?

 

George Washington University professors, with EPA funding , completed a risk assessment  that showed their concern about increased TMEP and other shipping in the Salish Sea……https://www.seas.gwu.edu/~dorpjr/VTRA/PSP/FINAL%20REPORT/PSP%20FINAL%20REPORT%20-%20DRAFT%20012214%20-%20HQ.pdf

 

Most Burrard Inlet  and Southern BC community  leaders are concerned about the 700% increase in dilbit laden tankers in our busy waters……Possibly  First Nations people and all other southern BC communities could share the cost for producuing an expert risk assessment..

 

Would  a new INDEPENDENT , expert, risk assessment  study  show the TMEP study to be unacceptably risky ?? …Would the government then be in a better position to order NEB to instruct Kinder Morgan (TMEP) to incorporate the independent risk results into a revised dilbit export plan.. ‘Such an expert study woud be costly and would ‘take some time’ to complete…so get started ,and come up with scientific evidence  to convince Prime Minster Trudeau… to let science be the basis of the final, better, export decision .

Some have suggested that just ONE ‘combined ‘ Enbridge-TMEP pipeline be built…to somewhere  near Port Simpson…to give loaded dilbit tankers  open ocean access to the Pacific.

WHAT’S YOUR OFFER…?

In  a Franklin Delano Roosevelt biography,…the  President was asked…”have you ever accepted a bribe”   ….his response was…”no, I have not…. BUT… I  never had a real good offer…”

Media chatter tells us that Premier Christy Clark has now gained a  billion dollar dilbit ,cross province, export , transit  ‘grant’ (from Kinder Morgan (KM), over 20 years…for BC communities …to protect BC coast and environment..

This unique ,’province crossing’ tariff is contrary to national trading tradition…but the billion dollar ‘figure’ ,hopefully, will  look great in BC Liberal election pamphlets… !

When will Alberta demand a tariff  for BC lumber, farmed salmon, imported autos . etc. , as these commodities  cross Alberta  heading east . Surely Quebec and Ontario will  see an opportunity to apply a tariff on Alberta oil as it transits (by pipeline) to Eastern Canada…Limitless ‘opportunities’ to be explored !

Did our Feds take  their eye off the ball…to gain ‘community permission’ for this ill-conceived  KM pipeline …!

It is  not uncommon for a pipe-liner to ‘cough up’ with shiny new fire truck…in a community …to deal with ‘local issues’… ….and is not seen as a potential Nation breaker….

I wonder if our now ‘unshackled’ Senate might order the Federal government to ‘undo, this cozy ,potentially fractious , BC , ‘province crossing’  tariff …?

 

RISK ASSESSMENT SALISH SEA

Subject:  RISK ASSESSMENT   salish sea oil spill

Probability of oil spill low, risk assessment analysis shows

Environmentalists, island communities question findings of study done for Kinder Morgan

BY GORDON HOEKSTRA, VANCOUVER SUN JANUARY 11, 2014

When it comes to Kinder Morgan’s proposed Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the biggest fear of British Columbians is the increased risk of a catastrophic oil spill in the Salish Sea. To gauge the probability of such a spill, the oil transport company sought an opinion from Det Norske Veritas, world-leading risk analysts. The company was reassured by the findings of their consultants. Det Norske Veritas calculations show the existing risk of a “worst-case” oil spill of 104,000 barrels in the Salish Sea is extremely low: once in 3,000 years.

The risk increases significantly – to once in 460 years – with the jump in tanker traffic from Kinder Morgan’s $5.4-billion Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. But the probability of such a spill is driven back down to once in 2,300 years when the company’s proposed mitigation measures, including additional tug escorts, are factored in. Annual tanker traffic would increase six-fold, to 408 return trips.

The figures are outlined in a 15,000-page project application submitted to the National Energy Board (NEB) last month.

For a spill half the size of a worst-case spill, the probability increases to once in 437 years. For a spill of any kind, as low as less than one barrel, it jumps again to 237 years.

The estimates are based on historical accident and spill figures, and include future ship traffic projections.

The findings give the company confidence tankers will continue to safely navigate the Strait of Juan de Fuca, thread Haro Strait and Boundary Pass through the San Juan and Gulf Islands, and into the Strait of Georgia, eventually passing Stanley Park and into the slim gap of the Second Narrows rail bridge to Westridge Terminal.

Whether Kinder Morgan’s calculations will provide assurance to its long list of opponents is another question.

Most critics tend to focus less on the probability of a major oil spill, and more on the consequences should one happen. (Kinder Morgan has also proposed to increase oil-spill response capacity).

With the devastating effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill still in mind, environmentalists, communities in the Gulf Islands but also Vancouver, and First Nations, point to the consequences a major incident would have in the Salish Sea – an area rich in aquatic life and wildlife and renowned for its beauty.

As the province’s tourism slogan “Beautiful B.C.” suggests, the promise of unsullied nature is a draw for visitors from around the world. The marine environment in the region is also a playground for the 11 million residents of British Columbia and Washington state.

Computer spill scenarios in Kinder Morgan’s project application show oil from a spill could end up on the shoreline of Washington state.

“You can come up with a doomsday scenario, but it’s not really helpful to the discourse unless we can frame it in terms of how likely it is to happen,” says Michael Davies, director of marine development for Kinder Morgan.

“What sets the work apart that we’ve provided in the application, is the fact we have this risk assessment on the probability side. And that’s an important piece for the public to understand.”

About 60 Aframax-size tankers – which can only be loaded about 80 per cent to 585,000 barrels so they can safely make it through the Second Narrows – already dock each year at the Westridge Terminal in Burnaby.

Many, such as the 250-metre DHT Sophie, which loaded at Westridge a week ago , are headed to refineries in California. But there’s been increasing demand by Alberta oilsands producers to access new markets in Asia. Their goals are being championed by both the Alberta and Canadian governments.

Canada is almost solely reliant on the U.S. as a destination for its oil.

Both Enbridge’s $6.5-billion Northern Gateway pipeline through northern B.C. and Kinder Morgan’s expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline are meant to satisfy this export appetite.

The additional 350 tanker loadings each year from the Kinder Morgan expansion will be added to more than 500 tankers that already ply the Salish Sea, headed to refineries in Washington state.

In an effort to keep the calculated risk of a major spill extremely low, Kinder Morgan is proposing to fill in gaps in tug escorts between Westridge Terminal and the Pacific Ocean.

happens,” said Obermeyer.

He notes there’s never been a major oil tanker incident in B.C. waters.

When looking at all tanker mishaps, including smaller vessels carrying chemicals and liquids such as canola, there have been few serious incidents in the past two decades.

According to Pacific Pilotage Authority data cited in Kinder Morgan’s application, there were only six tanker incidents in the past 20 years.

The numbers don’t include other shipping incidents involving large ships. For example, on Dec. 7, 2012, a bulk carrier sliced through a causeway and Westshore Terminals coal conveyor at Roberts Bank, dumping some coal into the ocean. The last tanker incident was in 2008, when the chemical tanker Fujigawa damaged a midship rail at Lynnterm Terminal in North Vancouver. Other incidents in 1999, 1997 and 1994 were also minor in nature, with damage taking place at dockside.

In the past decade, the largest oil spill the industry-funded western Canadian Marine Response Corp. (WCMRC) dealt with was at Westridge Terminal in 2007. But that leak was from a pipeline punctured by an excavator, not a marine spill.

The most recent call-out for the response team was two months ago, when it cleaned up two tonnes of canola in Burrard Inlet.

The organization, created in 1971, has never responded to a major oil tanker spill, noted WCMRC spokesman Michael Lowry.

Critics of the pipeline expansion are not satisfied with Kinder Morgan’s risk analysis or the oil tanker safety record in B.C. They point to a Nestucca tank barge spill in Washington state on Dec. 23, 1988 in which 5,500 barrels were spilled after a tug hit the barge. Oil reached beaches in northern Oregon, and a week later washed up on Vancouver Island shores. Tens of thousands of sea birds died, according to a 2011 report from the Pacific States/British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force.

Also of concern is a November 2009 incident in which the bulk carrier Hebei Lion dragged its anchor in high winds and was blown on to a rocky reef near Mayne Island, also noted in the task force report.

That incident was a wake-up call for Gulf Island residents, says Islands Trust chairwoman Sheila Malcolmson.

The Trust, which has municipal responsibilities for the Gulf Islands, opposes the Kinder Morgan expansion. “Any spill is going to be bad news,” said Malcolmson, noting the islands are an ecologically sensitive area with “funky” currents.

“We don’t have any confidence that Canada is in a position to handle the risk we have now, let alone the risk that’s posed by an additional almost 400 tankers a year through our waters,” she said.

Living Oceans Society executive director Karen Wristen does not trust Kinder Morgan’s risk analysis.

She points to a federal government-commissioned risk analysis carried out in 1990 following the Exxon Valdez spill that found the probability of a “catastrophic” marine oil spill – of over 84,000 barrels – can be expected once every 15 years in Canadian waters. A major spill of 100 to 10,000 tonnes was probable once a year. The highest risk was pegged in Eastern Canada, particularly Newfoundland.

“Somebody has to explain to me how we get from one in 15 years to one in 2,500 someodd while increasing the number of vessels out here,” said Wristen.

“You are playing with numbers,” she argued, while acknowledging that her organization does not have the money to hire experts to “poke credible holes” in Kinder Morgan’s risk analysis.

Wristen said the increased tanker traffic conflicts with protection requirements for federally designated habitat in southern waters for killer and humpback whales.

Under federal laws, the whales are meant to be protected from identified threats, said Wristen. She said it’s a “no brainer” that an oil spill is a threat to the whales, adding even the underwater noise and an increased risk of strikes of whales by the ships is a problem.

“There’s no way we should be shipping any oil out of the Burrard Inlet and through the Salish Sea,” Wristen said.

ghoekstra@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

..WITH SCIENCE WE CAN PUT RHETORIC ASIDE…

The proposed significant  increase in dilbit tanker traffic ,as  proposed by Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP), is of great concern to southern BC communities.. ..with little convincing solutions /remedies being offered for handling spills from  a severely damaged dilbit laden tanker …which could severely impact our major industry…the established multibillion dollar marine related ,established businesses.

 

Our now ‘unshackled ‘ Senate has just produced a comprehensive report  http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/421/TRCM/Reports/FINALVERSION-PipelineStudy-2016-12-07_e.pdf

that severely pans the way in which our government has handled this most vital national export plan.

 

Let our now ‘elevated scientists’ , produce a comprehensive risk assessment for the entire BC coast…and locate the ‘least risk’ terminal and marine routes for these dilbit laden tankers…

Yes ,someone might have to deal with , a leaking tanker after hitting a  bridge, a grounded/ruptured  tanker, a  political fanatic…or the most likely problem– respond  to human error consequences .

Let’s put aside all the rhetoric and deal with the  entire dilbit export project, and all of its ramifications …openly . As supported by our PM…when he recently told us.. …. “We need to be basing our decisions and policies on facts, on evidence and on SCIENCE !…”

 

A Pipelines Opportunity Knocks

Our Prime Minister, early on,  PROMISED to use science when deciding  …but   soon forgot ?

Kinder Morgan   wants to increase dilbit tanker traffic in  BC/Washington shared Salish  Sea waters— by 700 %…!

Yes , the new tankers are double hulled, and better tended and equipped    …BUT there’s been no independent risk assessment science that supports this great increase of dilbit laden tankers in these ‘chosen’ busy ,commercially lucrative waters….Pipelines  and tankers, typically, fail because of ‘human error’ leaving us with just one common sense approach…and that is to minimize the probability of a tanker spill incident.., thus the newly ‘promised  science’ is welcomed…hopefully , not too late ?

http://epaper.theprovince.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

Our PM said …. “We need to be basing our decisions and policies on facts, on evidence and on SCIENCE !…”

Ask our scientists  to produce a ‘risk assessment’ to locate the  least risky marine traffic routes in the BC coast  .

Now’s the time to remember your  PROMISE  MR. Prime Minister ,and find that least risky tanker routing plan …before it’s too late !

LET SENATE and SCIENCE FIX THE BC PIPELINES MESS…

the court …. hasn’t ….addressed the issues.” says the Burnaby mayor  ! https://www.biv.com/article/2016/12/city-burnaby-appeal-kinder-morgan-decision-christm/

Our Prime Minister promised to ‘fix’  the ‘Harper version’ of the NEB…but failed…

Should the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP)  be approved ,as proposed, the south BC communities …await  that ‘inevitable, alarm’..…when a dilbit laden tanker … gets hung up on a reef , at night …spilling dilbit profusely …during a tide change…..with a gale blowing …while everyone waits for that mythical ‘world class’ dilbit containment and recovery contraption !

We hope that  the new Chief Science Advisor arrives in time to ‘shed some science’ on the  fixation our PM’  has about  with  the ill-conceived TMEP … . http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1165289

That coupled with the now ‘unshackled’ Liberal appointed Senators…and the recent Senate   report …..that made …recommendations on “how the government can restore legitimacy to the pipeline approval process.” http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/421/TRCM/Reports/FINALVERSION-PipelineStudy-2016-12-07_e.pdf

…Is someone listening, finally…??

Let the Cabinet, Senators and  Chief Science Advisor fly the BC coast ,and without too much ‘fancy science’ they would soon decide on a more community acceptable  dilbit tanker route for this vital dilbit export , revenue generator…which would result in a shipping terminal…that takes dilbit  tankers directly to wide open Pacific waters

A BETTER PIPELINE DECISION…PENDING SOBER SECOND THOUGHT…

Terry Beech, Burnaby North-Seymour MP, appeared to be  supporting the many constituents that opposed the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) …He’s now  decided to support his leader…… Unfortunately he and his elected colleagues have not been ‘released’ from the Liberal Party Line., as have appointed Liberal   Senators…to ‘ensure that Parliament works better’ says the P.M. ?   We’ll see .

Government  decisions might better be  ‘reviewed ‘ with sober second thought   by a liberated Senate—-to prevent ‘unintended’ consequences …..! Thanks to Sir John A, Macdonald !

Two background links ,well worth reading…

  1. http://www.parl.gc.ca/content/sen/committee/421/TRCM/Reports/FINALVERSION-PipelineStudy-2016-12-07_e.pdf

2. http://business.financialpost.com/news/energy/evidence-not-politics-committee-recommends-ending-ottawa-veto-on-pipelines ,

The better solution is for ONE pipeline…and to allow dilbit laden tankers to travel from a shipping terminal ,north of Prince Rupert ..  into open Pacific waters …not Burrard Inlet, the Salish Sea, Douglas Channel,,,or the Great Bear Rain Forest region…   Allow maximum volumes of Alberta dilbit to be exported at world market prices …

We hope  their  ‘Pipeline Study’ will give Senate  an opportunity   to show themselves as a more meaningful  ‘component of government’ and help us to expedite these vital pipeline decisions…more sensibly !!