Double-hulled Tankers Won’t Protect Northern BC Coast From Oil Spills

Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline Project proposes to take tar sands oil from Alberta to the northern BC port of Kitimat for export to Pacific markets. Enbridge believes petroleum products can be moved safely through the northern BC coast, in part thanks to “modern and double-hulled” tankers.

In a report released last week, Living Oceans Society takes a close look at the limitations of double-hulled tankers and concludes they’re not the panacea they’re touted to be.
The risk of an oil spill in the northern BC coast is one of the main objections to this project. A spill could cause irreversible harm to the livelihoods of many coastal and aboriginal communities, the area’s unique marine ecosystems, the Great Bear Rainforest and 28 Important Bird Areas.
A Joint Review Panel has been established to review the environmental assessment of the project, but a date for the hearings is yet to be announced. Nature Canada plans to participate in the review, together with BC Nature. However, opposition to the project is building and a proposed legislated ban on tankers in the area could put an end to this threat. Watch spOIL for a glimpse of the wilderness at risk.