Tsleil-Waututh Calls for Moratorium on New Pipelines After Suncor Spill Reveals Response Process Inadequacies

NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C., April 11, 2013 – Tsleil-Waututh Nation is calling on the federal and provincial governments to place a moratorium on new pipelines after a spill at Suncor Energy Inc.’s Burrard Inlet facility on Saturday revealed alarming inadequacies in spill response and community notification protocols. The Nation says that until a credible, transparent plan for dealing with spills is in place, the federal and provincial governments should not consider the expansion of pipelines in British Columbia.

It is Tsleil-Waututh’s expectation that following the discovery of an oil spill, government emergency response agencies and responsible corporations must immediately alert affected First Nations, municipal governments, and the broader community. The spill at Suncor’s facility occurred on Saturday, April 6, but Tsleil-Waututh was not notified untilTuesday, April 9, three days after the incident.

“This incident reveals that the government’s response plans are inadequate if they cannot, or will not, communicate with First Nations or local governments after a spill. Meanwhile, the oil companies are saying that notifying the community of a spill is not their obligation,” says Carleen Thomas, Ambassador, Tsleil-Waututh Nation Sacred Trust Initiative. “Across the board, the attitude is alarming.

“The provincial and federal governments talk about world-class oil spill response, but this shows that they are totally unprepared to deal with the oil products that are currently moving through the province, never mind the quantities of oil that new pipelines would bring,” continues Thomas. “They lack all credibility and British Columbians should have no confidence in their reassurances of how safe future pipelines expansion and increased tanker traffic will be.”

Tsleil-Waututh Nation is opposed to the expansion of pipelines and increased tanker traffic through the Burrard Inlet and the Salish Sea. The Nation is actively opposing Kinder Morgan’s proposal which would see the transport of crude oil along its Trans Mountain pipeline expanded from its present level of approximately 300,000 barrels per day to 890,000 barrels per day. It would also result in more than 400 oil tankers entering Burrard Inlet each year.

“The Suncor spill is just another example of our communities being exposed to dangerous pollutants. And it’s a sign of what’s to come if we allow Vancouver to become an oil port city. Spills will become the new normal,” continues Thomas. “How many of these warnings do we need before we stand up and say “no” to new pipelines in our province and “yes” to a healthy province?”

About Tsleil-Waututh Nation
Tsleil-Waututh Nation is a progressive and vibrant Coast Salish community of approximately 500 members. The Nation is located along the shores of Burrard Inlet in North Vancouver, B.C., Canada, across the Inlet from the Burnaby terminus of Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Nation’s Sacred Trust Initiative is mandated to oppose and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project. Follow the Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative on social media:
Twitter:   @TWNSacredTrust
Facebook: Tsleil-Waututh Sacred Trust Initiative
For more information please visit www.twnation.ca.

SOURCE: Tsleil-Waututh Nation

For further information:

Media Contact:
Tsleil-Waututh Nation
604-358-3371
media@twnation.ca

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