Belcarra raises concern about recreational boating

Belcarra is concerned about the impact of increased oil tanker traffic on recreational boating in Burrard Inlet. It
Belcarra is concerned about the impact of increased oil tanker traffic on recreational boating in Burrard Inlet. It's asking the National Energy Board to rule on the question as part of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Belcarra wants assurances that recreational boaters won't be at risk from increased tanker traffic if the Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker facility expansion goes ahead.

On Monday, village councillors unanimously endorsed a motion to request Trans Mountain to collect data on recreational boat traffic in Burrard Inlet and factor the data in its models to determine the risk potential for marine incidents.

Mayor Ralph Drew said Belcarra is an intervenor in the Trans Mountain Expansion Project and the request for more information has been sent to the National Energy Board for consideration. If the request is approved, Kinder Morgan would be required to do the research and present the finding as part of its due diligence.

Drew said the safety of recreational boaters, many of whom live in Belcarra and have boats at Reed Point Marina or in various marinas around the Port Moody inlet, has not been raised so far in the project review for Trans Mountain.

"I've been following the process all along and the one area that nobody is speaking to is the issue of public safety for recreational boaters for Burrard Inlet," Drew said.

He speculated that with an increase in tanker traffic proposed by Kinder Morgan — from one tanker a week to one a day — the potential for a collision would be high and although a tanker wouldn't be harmed, that's not the case for a small recreational vessel.

"It's the sum total of all those things it may be a problem, it may not. Until you do the research, how do you know?"

He said there are several large marinas in Burrard Inlet and the impact of tanker traffic needs more study.

Belcarra's motion comes as the province has filed more than 70 requests to the National Energy Board for more information related to maritime and land-based spill response, prevention and recovery systems.

– with files from Jeff Nagel


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