Ask Washington State to “Just Say No” to Kinder Morgan Pipeline

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Remember the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion? This is the project that would increase Canadian crude oil tankers in the Salish Sea from 120 to 816 transits a year.

Because this dramatic increase in shipping brings with it an increased risk of a major oil spill in our waters, Safe Shippers have been paying attention to, and taking action on, this proposed project for the past 2 years.

Now we have one last chance to make sure our voices are heard. As part of the application review process, Washington State’s Department of Ecology (Ecology) will be giving oral arguments before Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) on Tuesday, February 2. Ecology is not only speaking for our islands and our state, it is the only US state or federal agency to be granted intervenor status by the NEB. This means that they have a very important seat at the table, so let’s encourage Ecology to speak up for us!

We are grateful for Ecology’s work as an intervenor and for their request to the NEB to impose additional conditions on the project. However, Ecology has not yet taken a stand to oppose the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project as it is proposed.

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Please contact Ecology Director Maia Bellon and Governor Jay Inslee BEFORE FEBRUARY 2 and ask that Ecology UNEQUIVOCALLY OPPOSE the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project as proposed.

Ecology Director Maia Bellon: maia.bellon@ecy.wa.gov, (360) 407-7001

Governor Jay Inslee: https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor/, (360) 902-4111

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Ecology’s strong statement of opposition to the project as proposed would join those from many other Washingtonians: Islanders; San Juan County; Swinomish, Tulalip, Suquamish, and Lummi Indian Nations; British Columbia; the City of Vancouver; and the City of Victoria — just to name a few.

SOME EXAMPLES OF STATEMENTS OPPOSING THE PIPELINE:

San Juan County Council “We feel this project will benefit few while posing undo risk for those along its route. Our biggest concerns are increased vessel traffic in our waters that increase the risk of an oil spill from collision or running aground. The NEB is looking at this one individual project and its impacts. San Juan County feels this is shortsighted and inadequate. This project does not exist in a vacuum. We urge the NEB with other ministries and U.S counterparts to examine all proposed marine terminal projects and examine cumulative impacts of increased vessel traffic. For the reasons stated above and the issues detailed below the San Juan County Council opposes the Trans Mountain Expansion Project Expansion project.”   

League of Women Voters of the San Juans “Therefore we oppose the TMPE project that would ultimately increase vessel collision risk and the risk of pollutants contaminating our shorelines. Without the appeal of pristine nature, our individual and collective ability to live here would be dramatically diminished. Many of us have our retirement savings invested in property and if property values are lessened our ability to sustain ourselves and remain contributing members of our local society would be dramatically impacted. … We appeal to the Canadian National Energy Board to refuse to grant the TMPE proposal.” 

San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping “We are writing to voice our opposition to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. Our concerns stem from significant adverse risk of oil spills in and around the Salish Sea which we believe will result from this Project proposal. We do not believe that these risks are acceptable and we do not believe that the environmental and socio-economic impacts of the proposed Project can be mitigated.” 

FRIENDS of the San Juans “FRIENDS respectfully requests that the NEB deny this Project Application as submitted for the following reasons … The Project-related oil spill risks are too high. Even with all the Project Application’s proposed mitigation measures in place, the Project Application’s own analysis concludes that there is a 10 percent probability of at least one greater-than-52,000-barrel oil spill taking place within 50 years, and a 19 percent probability of an oil spill of any size taking place within 50 years. … The Project Application’s oil spill response plans do not address the spill response resources needed for Canadian tar sands crude oil, which will sink in certain conditions, … The Project Application’s emergency response plans do not address the evacuation plans necessary for residents and visitors in the US should Canadian tar sands crude oil toxins adversely affect US air quality in the event of a Project-related oil spill.”

Lopez NO COALition “We ask that the NEB not approve the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Project as submitted due to the following issues: inadequacy of oil spill response capability, lack of clear transboundary responder immunity, insufficient knowledge about the fate and behavior of diluted bitumen (dilbit) in the marine environment, health and safety issues for responders caused by volatile components of dilbit, and adverse impacts to the San Juan Islands National Monument, San Juan National Wildlife Refuge, property values, local economy, marine foodweb, residents and wildlife, including endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales and Chinook salmon.”

Orcas NO COALition “… the Trans Mountain proposal grossly underestimates the likelihood of sinking dilbit and the difficult added problems of containing a dilbit spill, treating it as if this would be a normal oil spill that could be addressed using standard spill-response techniques. This is a major flaw in the proposal. Because of this glaring deficiency, the NEB should reject this proposal on this basis alone.”

British Columbia “Therefore, the Province cannot support Trans Mountain’s application based on the evidence it has filed in the proceeding.”

City of Vancouver, BC “… the Trans Mountain Expansion Project poses an unacceptable risk to Vancouver, its residents, businesses and the environment. The impacts of an oil spill would be devastating. … The Trans Mountain Expansion Project is not in the public interest and the City of Vancouver requests that the Board recommend that the project not be approved.”

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