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For Immediate Release - Nov 7, 2016

Federal government's Oceans Protection Plan is an act of theatre

Wilderness Committee skeptical of proposed tar sands spill response

VANCOUVER — Spill response measures announced in Vancouver by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Minister of Transport Marc Garneau on Monday will not be effective in a spill from a tar sands tanker, according to the Wilderness Committee.

“Seven times the number of tar sands tankers in Vancouver’s harbour makes a spill an inevitability,” said Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “Today’s announcement doesn’t make west coast residents feel any less afraid of Kinder Morgan's proposed risky pipeline project. ”

A U.S. National Academy of Sciences study shows there is no known way to clean up a spill of diluted bitumen because it sinks into the water column.

Even in a conventional spill, industry considers just 10 to 15 per cent recovery a success. Meanwhile, the City of Vancouver places the likelihood of a spill in the Burrard Inlet at 79 to 87 per cent over 50 years if the Kinder Morgan pipeline is approved.

“People need to realize response to a tar sands spill is mostly just for show,” said McCartney. “Once that oil sinks, it’s game over. Nobody knows how to clean it up.”

During a spill, toxic and carcinogenic diluent would evaporate and waft into densely-populated areas. Then the remaining bitumen would sink into the water column where it would poison marine life and show up on local beaches for years to come.

“This pipeline threatens our entire way of life here,” said McCartney. “Who on Earth would accept that?”


For more information, please contact:

Peter McCartney | Climate Campaigner, Wilderness Committee


The Wilderness Committee is Canada's largest membership-based, citizen-funded wilderness preservation organization. Charitable Registration # 11929-3009-RR0001 
Wilderness Committee
46 E. 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1J4

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Wilderness Committee · 46 E. 6th Avenue · Vancouver, BC V5T 1J4 · Canada