City of Vancouver to apply for intervenor status in National Energy Board hearings

December 18, 2013 | Jobs and the Economy

After hearing speakers throughout the day, the Mayor and Vancouver City Council voted to direct staff to apply for the City to intervene in National Energy Board hearings on the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion that are expected to begin in early 2014.

“The City’s participation as an intervenor will allow Vancouver an important opportunity to express concerns about the substantial risks posed to our local economy and environment from a seven-fold increase in oil tanker traffic in and around Vancouver’s harbour and nearby waters,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Kinder Morgan’s application earlier this week confirmed many of Vancouver’s significant concerns about the proposed expansion of the TransMountain Pipeline, and speakers at City Council today expressed a clear view that the proposal is all risk and no benefit.”

Earlier this month City of Vancouver staff presented an update on risks posed by the proposal, which would increase the number of oil tankers navigating through Vancouver’s busy Burrard Inlet from 5 to 34 vessels each month. The increase would result in over 212 million barrels of oil each year being moved through a delicate marine ecosystem that helps to support over 28,000 jobs in Vancouver’s $3.6 billion tourism industry.

A significant risk to taxpayers was also outlined, with total available funds for clean-up and recovery capped at approximately $1.33 billion – insufficient capacity for even a moderate spill. Last year Mayor Robertson called for the limits on liability to be lifted to protect local businesses and taxpayers in the event of a worst-case oil spill, and earlier this month the same recommendation was made in the report of the Federal Government’s Tanker Safety Expert Panel.

To view the full presentation from City of Vancouver staff, please click here:
http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20131204/documents/ptec2presentation.pdf

To view the Vancouver Economic Commission’s literature review on oil spill impacts relevant to Vancouver, please click here:
http://vancouvereconomic.com/vedcnews/vec-report-%E2%80%93-impacts-of-oil-tanker-spills-relevant-to-vancouver-2013-0