Tag Archives: ocean

Orcas’ genetic diversity low after Ice Age population “severe reduction”, study finds

The worldwide population of Orcas probably crashed during the last Ice Age, creating a “bottleneck” in the genetic diversity of the species around the world, a problem that could continue to affect killer whales today, according to a new genetic study published on February 4,2014. Rus Hoelzel from the School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, at Durham University, in the UK and colleagues used DNA sequencing from archive material from earlier studies, or from museum specimens to track the evolution of the Orcas. One group…

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Two JRP conditions are already outdated, Cullen says

Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen says at least two of the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel’s 209 conditions may already be outdated. In a news release January 15, 2013, Cullen said, “The requirement of $950 million in spill insurance was recently called into question as reports surfaced of cleanup costs at the sites of Enbridge’s 2010 Michigan spill surpassing $1.035 billion.” The $1.035 billion figure was contained in Enbridge’s American arm, Enbridge Energy Partners, latest filing for the third quarter over 2013 with the…

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How Gateway’s plans to dredge Douglas Channel show the limitations of the JRP mandate and ruling

(First in series of reports on how the Joint Review Panel report will affect the Kitimat region)   If there is a significant flaw in the Joint Review Panel report on Northern Gateway, it can be found in the panel’s analysis of Enbridge Northern Gateway’s plans to blast and dredge at the proposed Kitimat terminal site. While the Joint Review Panel does consider what it calls “cumulative effects,” the panel plays down those effects and offers no specifics about interaction between the Northern Gateway project…

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Pension funds pressure Rio Tinto to dump out of controversial Alaska Pebble Mine

Rio Tinto says “it intends to undertake a strategic review” of its stake in the highly controversial Pebble Mine project near Bristol Bay, Alaska. In a news release, Rio Tinto says it is considering its future holdings in a Vancouver-based mining company named Northern Dynasty, which now is the main proponent of the copper and gold mine project. Rio Tinto “through QIT-Fer et Titane Inc., an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc, owns 18,145,845 common shares of Northern Dynasty, representing approximately 19.1 per cent…

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Bitumen excluded from data for federal tanker study, documents reveal

    The possible effects of a bitumen spill on Pacific waters were not considered in the oil response preparedness report released last week by the Harper government, the background data study reveals. The consulting firm that did the study for Transport Canada, Genivar Inc, had no reliable data on the effect of a bitumen tanker disaster—because, so far, there has been no major ocean disaster involving diluted bitumen. Instead, Genivar, based its findings on potential hazards and response on existing data on crude oil…

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Commentary: In the tanker study, the District of Kitimat was missing in action

The list of participants in the oil spill preparedness and response study released last week by the federal government shows two glaring no shows, the District of Kitimat and Rio Tinto Alcan. The Haisla Nation and the Gitga’at Nation did provide written submissions to the panel. The expert panel was set up by the federal government to review “oil handling facilities and ship-source oil spill preparedness and response.” The expert panel was to review the “structure, functionality and the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the…

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Tanker study shows huge gaps in shipping and hazard data, documents show

The study of tanker shipping and tanker spills by Genivar for Transport Canada has revealed huge gaps in how the world monitors tanker traffic. Genivar says Accident data was acquired from three main sources: the CCG Marine Pollution Incident Reporting System (MPIRS); the Lloyd’s casualty database; and spill incident records maintained by the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF). MPIRS lists all marine pollution incidents occurring in Canadian waters (CCG, 2013), with information on the region within Canada in which the incident occurred, type of…

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Oil spill dangers can linger for 40 years, report shows

The Genivar report for Transport Canada on oil spills say that some persistent effects can last for more than 40 years, based on a study of a spill in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The report  notes that persistent sub-surface oil is still a problem at Prince William Sound, site of the Exxon Valdez disaster in 1989. On long-term effects, Genivar reports: “The ingestion of contaminated food (such as oiled mussels), may represent the most important exposure pathway for aquatic fauna during a chronic phase. Chronic exposure…

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Kitimat Airshed Map

LNG Canada maps air shed study area

Two of the maps filed by the LNG Canada project with provincial and federal environmental assessment agencies look at the air quality problems from the project, including the controversial prospect of cumulative problems from multiple industrial projects in the Kitimat Valley, one of them the RTA Kitimat Modernization Project which will increase sulphur dioxide emissions while decreasing some other emissions. One map covers what is being called the airshed, in the case of LNG Canada, air quality will be assessed with the LNG facility at…

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BC calls for input on conservation plan for Ashdown Island, one of the “disappeared” on Douglas Channel

BC Parks and the Gitga’at First Nation are calling for public input as they development a management plan for the K’nabiyaaxl/Ashdown Island Conservancy at the mouth of Douglas Channel. BC Parks describes the area as: K’nabiyaaxl/Ashdown Conservancy covers 727 hectares of marine and uplands ecosystem on the northwest coast of British Columbia, south of Gil Island. The conservancy is 40 kilometres south of Hartley Bay and 120 kilometres southwest of Kitimat. The conservancy is in the traditional territory of the Gitga’at First Nation. The public has…

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