Transport Canada Clears Enbridge Tanker Route, Baffling Many


Read this story from the Vancouver Sun on Transport Canada’s decision to clear the proposed tanker route from Kitimat relating to the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipelines as safe for navigation by some of the world’s largest vessels. (Feb. 24, 2012)

Transport Canada says oil supertankers can safely access a terminal in Kitimat to collect loads of crude from Enbridge Inc.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline project.

The federal department has determined that the marine passages connecting Kitimat to the Pacific Ocean contain no obstructions that could pose a safety risk to fully loaded oil tankers. It expects the project would attract 250 or more such tankers a year to the northern B.C. community.

“The proposed shipping routes are appropriate for the oil tankers that will be used at the proposed terminal,” says the assessment by the federal department, submitted Thursday to a joint regulatory panel reviewing the $5.5-billion pipeline proposal for the federal government.

The review, posted online by the joint panel, notes the routes provide the required clearances for good vessel manoeuvrability and allowances for very large crude oil tankers to safely navigate…

…Environmental groups, first nations and other pipeline critics of Northern Gateway have flagged narrow marine passages and inclement weather as among the biggest contributors to a risk of oil tanker spills in coastal waters that they associate with the pipeline.