Friday, May 4, 2012

Resource shipping and the Vancouver Harbour (Vancouver Sun)

Outer Vancouver harbour to the Pacific
Photo Credit  
© PJalkotzy

Stopping oil shipments not the solution


Port city has to be able to deal with the worst-case scenarios associated with moving substance


Vancouver city council's plan to require oil tankers in Burrard Inlet to carry enough liability insurance to cover a worst-case scenario spill raises an interesting question. What would the worst-case-scenario look like?

In the tradition of Hollywood's disaster flicks, I picture it some-thing like this: An Aframax tanker the length of two Canadian football fields leaves the Westridge terminal in Burnaby, loaded with enough toxic oilsands bitumen to blacken the entire harbour. The tanker is tethered to three tugs, one in front, two in the back, ready for any emergency. Almost any emergency, that is.

Just before high tide, the tanker approaches the Ironworkers Memorial Bridge. Meanwhile, a tanker truck loaded with gasoline heads up the Trans-Canada Highway. It crosses the water's edge just as the tanker's bow eases under the bridge deck

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