Andrew Nikiforuk has written an article in the Hakai magazine which supports one of our arguments in the work we did as intervenors in the National Energy Board Hearings on the Kinder Morgan/Trans Mountain Extension Pipeline project. This article profiles how we are being duped by oil companies and governments into believing that oil spills can be cleaned up and that oiled birds and mammals can be rehabilitated.
“And that’s where the state of marine oil spill response sits today: it creates little more than an illusion of a cleanup. Scientists — outside the oil industry — call it “prime-time theatre” or “response theatre.””
Why Do We Pretend to Clean Up Ocean Oil Spills?
Oil Sands Dilbit Causes Developmental Problems in Fish
I went over to Tower Point today to get a better sense of the seafront north of the Tower Point portion of Witty’s lagoon CRD park. It is part of a subdivision proposal. This is a good example of natural Capital of the Municipality. Public access to this area would be possible by all of the other holders of property in the subdivision, as well as the public. With the pressures from increasing population in the neighbouring communities of Langford and Colwood the value of this area kept as public property would be very high.
The shorefront on the property north of Tower Point which is subject to a subdivision proposal
From an APRM newsletter:
Parkland Acquisition at Subdivision: Under section 941 of the Local Government ACT, the owner of land being subdivided must provide park land when three or more additional lots are being created and at least one of the parcels is 3 Hs(4.94 acres) or smaller. The amount of parkland that is required, without compensation, is 5% of the land being proposed for subdivision….where the local govenment has the authority to decides whether it wants 5% deducation or cash-in-lieu, it is up to Council (unless specifically delegated to the Approving Officer) to determine the amount (up to 5%) and location.
…where the OCP has policies and designations for future parks, the local government can decide whether to accept land or cash-oin-lieu Absent such policies, the landowner decides, with the compensation equal to market value of the entire parcel prior to its subdivision but it has preliminary approval for subdivision…
The shoreline location— see red arrow and bracket on the right.
The shorefront here would make a very good addition to the part of Witty’s Lagoon regional park which is locted at Tower Point . Residents of the community made a submission at tonight’s council meeting pointing out the advantages of a park dedication for a strip along the shoreline. It is hoped that the council, when provided with the final version of the application will recommend this park border extension.
Islands made of pillow lava right in front of this shoreline segment..
evidence of pillow lava that formed this area at Tower Point.
I also took some pictures of the wildflowers and features of the shoreline in the park at Tower Point bordering this subdivision. See in the next blog.
The holes punched out by horses can be up to 25 cm. in depth.
The Metchosin Community has a considerable population of recreational horses. It is accepted that to criticize anything horse-related might not be politically correct in Metchosin.
The pictures included in this post represent an extreme example but they are useful in order to point out the potential environmental impact of this activity. Let alone making it difficult to walk on until the next high tide comes in to smooth it out, the real issue is what is happening to the habitat of the forage fish. Both Pacific Smelt and Sand lance inhabit intertidal zones on Taylor beach. When they spawn, these forage fish deposit eggs just under the surface of the sand . They are vulnerabale to compaction and excessive drying out before they are carried out by the tide. Given the lack of protection afforded the habitat of these fish and the over-harvesting in the herring fishery, these essential small fish of the food web are challenged enough already.
Horse hoof punctures in the sand right down in the area where sand lance are depositing their eggs in burrows.
On January 15, 2014, The Board of Friends of Ecological reserves submitted the round 2 set of Information Requests to Kinder Morgan /TMX project . Since it has some questions related to local sensitive marine ecological areas, It is posted here:
Other posts on our concerns about the risk of oil spills on Metchosin’s Coastline may be found here:
50 other intervenors in the NEB hearings also submitted questions.. The link to these will be added here when the National Energy Board puts up a link.
While doing work as an Intervenor for the Board of Friends of Ecological Reserves in the National Energy Board hearings on the Kinder Morgan Trans-Mountain Pipeline Expansion proposal , we have received notice throughout the past few months of the posting of many motions and questions to the Board from Intervenor Robyn Allan. The incredible amount of research she has done may be accessed on the NEB website: https://docs.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/llisapi.dll/Open/2451015
By Robyn Allan, Monday, January 10– TheTyee.ca
U.S.-based Kinder Morgan says its Trans Mountain expansion project represents financial and economic benefit to the Canadian economy, and our federal and provincial public treasuries.
Who would spend a year investigating such claims, rooted as they are in complex tax law, regulations and corporate structure? I did.
What I found made me conclude the opposite — Kinder Morgan drains financial wealth from our economy and does not pay its fair share of taxes.
I have written about the project’s complicated design to yield meagre tax revenues for Canadians in a previous Tyee article.
Now let me examine just how Canadian Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. is. The answer: hardly at all.
Pop the hood and take a look at Kinder Morgan’s inner workings and the idea that this is a Canadian company operating for the good of Canadians is dispelled quicker than Kinder Morgan can say injunction.
If you are bored by arcane discussions of corporate structure and governance, that may be just what Kinder Morgan is hoping. Please bear with me. It’s critical we know who really runs, and benefits from, Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. —From the boys who brought us Enron
continued at: http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2015/01/12/Trans-Mountain-Texas-Profits/
Click to enlarge (some browsers may require a second click to further enlarge image). Kinder Morgan corporate chart prepared by Robyn Allan. Graphic design by Karl Jensen.
This recent cover story by Lovel Pratt in the http://www.whatcomwatch.org/php/WW_open.php?id=1795 is well worth reading for Metchosin residents .
Examples it has stated:
- “The consequences are huge: The Department of Ecology(Washington State) estimates that a major oil spill in the state would cost 165,000 jobs and $10.8 billion in annual economic activity.
- However, these figures are undervalued because, in addition to being two years outdated, this estimate does not include any costs associated with the impacts of oil spills to privately owned shoreline and water-view properties.”
- “Property owners may be required to evacuate if faced with fire danger and/or air pollution from emissions of benzene and other volatile organic compounds. If evacuation is not required, shoreline and water access could be cut back or prohibited. Water views would be spoiled by oil slicks and noisy cleanup operations, and oiled shorelines would likely be mechanically cleaned by pressure washing and bulldozing.–Property owners also face losses to assessed values. A study conducted in British Columbia revealed that privately owned properties can lose from 10-40 percent in value, and even properties near spills that are not directly affected can lose value by association.”
- “Typical homeowner’s insurance would not provide compensation in the event of an oil spill. Pollutants are excluded in property policies unless the coverage is specifically defined to include the pollutant. According to my local insurance agent, unless a homeowner’s policy specifically covers oil spills, there would be no compensation for loss of use or loss of value resulting directly or indirectly from an oil spill. Further, it would be both difficult and most likely quite expensive to find such coverage.
- “The Exxon Valdez oil spill, which hasn’t been completely cleaned up after 25 years, still has continuous and compounding environmental and economic impacts.8 Washington State can’t afford that tragedy. The 165,000 jobs and $10.8 billion in annual economic activity don’t accurately estimate the costs that such a catastrophe would have on the state.”
- See the well-referenced article here: http://www.whatcomwatch.org/php/WW_open.php?id=1795
- Thanks to Andy MacKinnon for pointing to this.
Our shoreline and Race Rocks Ecological reserve are at risk of an oil spill. Metchosin resident Garry Fletcher and Victoria resident Mike Fenger have been Intervenors in the NEB Kinder Morgan/ Trans Mountain Pipeline Proposal Hearing on behalf of the Board of Friends of Ecological Reserves. The letter linked here was sent in support of the Province of British Columbia’s attempts to have full disclosure of the emergency Plans of the WCMRC (Western Canada Marine Response Corporation). ( which happens to be over 50% owned by Kinder Morgan…)
RE: Notice of Motion by the Province of British Columbia submitted December 5, 2014 OH -01- 2014 Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (“Trans Mountain”) Trans Mountain Expansion Project (the “Project”) File Number OF-Fac-Oil-T260-2013-03 02
As an Intervenor in the above mentioned application, the Board of Friends of Ecological Reserve’s (Board of FER )provides the following comments in support for BC’s Motion submitted by the Province of British Columbia on December 5, 2014.
Please be advised that the Board of FER supports the order sought in the Province of British Columbia’s Notice of Motion dated December 5, 2014:————-
The complete text of this letter can be viewed here on the National Energy Board Website .
Internal FER website link to this pdf:
This report examines the role of eroding bluffs as a source of sediment for Puget Sound beaches and includes a review of related geology and coastal processes. It summarizes recent mapping of feeder bluffs and examines ways in which this information can be used to improve shoreline management.
This report is one part of a larger project on Puget Sound feeder bluffs that also includes maps and a series of web pages that cover much of the material in this report. The project was funded by EPA and the WA Department of Fish and Wildlife. Hugh Shipman and colleagues published this important report on feeder bluffs processes and management. Coastal Watershed Index of Port Angeles has been working on the complex and critical topic of feeder bluff management for over a decade. One of their biggest challenges is imparting the critical and unique elements of feeder bluff function and management (including the reality that there are no ‘soft armoring’ techniques appropriate for this land form ). This report provides scientific and management focus specifically to feeder bluffs of the Salish Sea- it’s long overdue.
Part 2 is of the maps of feeder bluffs of Puget sound:
Accessed Nov 4, 2014 at :
See More on Feeder Bluff mapping: