LETTER: Port CEO exaggerates spill response base job threat, says writer

Does anyone really believe that eight or nine jobs justify this enormous risk?

To the Editor,

Re: New spill response bases on hold as pipeline paused, AV News online

Port Alberni Port Authority president and CEO Zoren Knezevic, as usual, is exaggerating the situation to get people riled up about non-existent jobs.

This quote comes from an interview with Western Canada Marine Response Corporation spokesman Michael Lowry (Victoria Times Colonist, Dec. 28, 2016):

Consider the conclusions of the study, Spills of Diluted Bitumen From Pipelines, released by the Washington, D.C.–based National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on Dec. 8, 2017. Karen Wristen (Executive Director of Living Oceans) said the study concludes that within a matter of hours or days of an ocean spill, dilbit separates into its original components. The hydrocarbons evaporate, and the air around the spill becomes explosive. Meanwhile, the bitumen begins to sink below the surface and may attach to silt and other ocean particles.

“At that point, it becomes impossible to track or find,” Wristen said. “You can’t use spill-response technology on it; you can’t use dispersants; you can’t pick it up with a skimmer. You’ve gotta be able to get ahold of it first of all, so this means we need new technology to deal with spills.”

Does anyone really believe that eight or nine jobs justify this enormous risk to our fisheries, the oceans, the shellfish industry, the cetaceans who rely on these waters, our tourism industry?

Sam Brownlee,

Port Alberni

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