THE City of Burnaby said on Tuesday that it welcomes the news that the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has announced that additional measures are being developed to protect B.C.’s environment from spills. Those measures include seeking feedback on “restrictions on the increase of diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) transportation until the behaviour of spilled bitumen can be better understood and there is certainty regarding the ability to adequately mitigate spills.”
An independent scientific advisory panel will be established to make recommendations to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy on if and how heavy oils can be safely transported and cleaned up, if spilled.
“Since Kinder Morgan first proposed this new pipeline to carry diluted bitumen to offshore markets, we have been expressing our concern about the unique and potentially devastating environmental threats diluted bitumen presents, which are significantly worse than conventional crude oil. More scientific research and data on the environmental damage caused by spilled dilbit and on the cleanup process must be conducted so the damaging behavior of spilled dilbit can be better understood,” said Burnaby Mayor Derek Corrigan.
“We are thrilled that today the provincial government is acknowledging these threats in a way that will ensure scientific examination of the implications of the transportation of diluted bitumen in the province.
“Kinder Morgan’s planned expansion will result in a sevenfold increase – from five to 34 per month – in the number of tankers travelling into Burrard Inlet to fill up at Kinder Morgan’s proposed expanded tanker terminal. In 2014, the City of Burnaby, City of Vancouver and Tsleil-Waututh Nation retained Genwest Systems Inc. to model oil spill scenarios in Burrard Inlet. Each tiny dot in the video represents 2,000 litres of oil. Clearly, even a small dilbit spill – on land or in Burrard Inlet – would cause environmental devastation.”
The City also released a video, detailing its reasons for opposition to Kinder Morgan’s proposed route through Burnaby, focused on the unacceptable risks of transporting diluted bitumen through Burnaby and Burrard Inlet.