Healthy Oceans. Healthy Communities.

Energy and Climate Change

Oil spill impacts

Twenty-two years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill catastrophe in Alaska, ecosystems and communities have still not fully recovered. Oil can still be found on beaches in Prince William Sound and the herring fishery is still closed.

The Exxon Valdez oil spill covered nearly 2,000 km of coastline and killed at least 1,000-2,800 sea otters, 250,000 seabirds, 302 harbour seals and countless invertebrates like crabs and shellfish. Many killer whales simply went missing.

What if a supertanker tanks?

By Larry Pynn

VANCOUVER — Two-tug escorts. Double-hulled tankers. Radar at critical stretches of coastline. A spill-response capability more than three times greater than now required by Transport Canada.

That, said Enbridge, is its commitment to ensure the safe movement of tankers associated with its Northern Gateway oil pipeline terminal on the British Columbia coast at Kitimat.

Critics don’t buy the assurances.

They fear a spill by even one massive tanker could wreak havoc on marine life and contaminate hundreds of kilometres of coastline.

Putting the Assumptions to the Test
Who pays for oil spills in Canadian waters?
Tanker technology: Limitations of double hulls
Shipping on the British Columbia coast: A briefing report
Pipeline and Tanker Trouble