Canada Approves Large Pipeline Expansion, Increasing Tanker Traffic in Washington Waters

Nov 29, 2016

As the fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline wears on in North Dakota, the Canadian government approved a much larger pipeline project that will affect Puget Sound and the Salish Sea.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved the Kinder-Morgan Transmountain pipeline expansion project. The pipeline currently brings crude from Alberta’s oil sands region to the coast of British Columbia.

Now the company is approved to more than double the pipeline’s capacity.

That could mean a significant increase in the number of oil tankers traveling to and from the pipeline terminal, through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and northern Puget Sound. Right now there’s one tanker making that trip per week. When the pipeline’s expanded, that could increase to more than one oil tanker per day.

The Tsleil-Waututh nation of British Columbia called the permits “illegitimate” and said the issue is as black and white as the killer whales the oil ships will endanger.

The tribe said it will fight the decision in court.

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