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Plenty of pipeline questions

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The Douglas Channel is seen from Kitimat, B.C.

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The Douglas Channel is seen from Kitimat, B.C.

In its promotion of the Enbridge Northern Gateway project, the federal government fails to admit extraordinary assumptions are being made about oil-transportation infrastructure (Pipeline process must flow, June 19).

This coastal shipping route and a pipeline ending at Kitimat is not a "science-based" choice. The frequent major earthquakes near the B.C. coastline, with the possibility of devastating tidal waves, places Kitimat at risk of becoming Canada's Fukushima.

Archival records from the past half-century show big quakes near Haida Gwaii can send damaging shock waves as far inland as Kitimat. In October 2012, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake raised the alarm about a tsunami, and now coastline navigators doubt the safety of shipping oil through Queen Charlotte Sound.

Are bitumen-carrying pipelines built on shock-absorbing platforms to reduce the impact of earth tremors? Can supertankers navigate in narrow sea channels under conditions of tsunami-like waves?

We cannot make science-based decisions in the absence of science.

JEAN PATERSON

Winnipeg

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 23, 2014 A8

History

Updated on Monday, June 23, 2014 at 7:54 AM CDT: adds link

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