Ecojustice Blog – Climate change Posted on September 29, 2017 (updated: October 2, 2017)

Kinder Morgan pipeline hearing kicks off

Devon PageLawyer
Ecojustice lawyers, Margot Venton and Dyna Tuytel by Emily Chan
Ecojustice lawyers, Margot Venton and Dyna Tuytel

Our time in court is finally here.

A marathon seven-day hearing on the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline project kicks off today, and thanks to supporters like you, our lawyers are ready to fight the government’s unlawful approval of this pipeline project.

We’ve said from the start that Kinder Morgan’s proposal to twin its existing Trans Mountain Pipeline would put endangered Southern Resident killer whales in harm’s way by introducing a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic through the whales’ critical habitat — at a time when the population has gone from 82 during the NEB hearing to 76 as we approach our day in court.

The risk of a catastrophic oil spill is too high, and the harm from vessel noise — which impacts the orca’s ability to find food and to communicate — is too great.

When Cabinet approved the pipeline project last November, it based its decision on a flawed National Energy Board report that failed to apply mandatory legal protections for at-risk species like the Southern Resident killer whales. We’re going to court to overturn the government’s approval and ensure that Cabinet meets the legal requirements for addressing the risks the project poses to these iconic whales.

This case could set an important precedent, demonstrating that regulators and Cabinet cannot shirk their legal responsibilities to protect species from harm — that’s why we’ve been fighting this project every step of the way.

Over the course of the next two weeks, we will represent our clients Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Living Oceans Society in court. We’ll be there alongside First Nations, local governments, and the Government of British Columbia, who all agree that this project poses unacceptable risks to our communities and the environment, and cannot proceed.

The Ecojustice legal team has logged thousands of hours of time researching and preparing to make sure they put their best foot forward when in Court to defend Southern Resident killer whales from reckless fossil fuel projects.

We’re grateful for the hard work this dedicated team has put into this case — and we hope you are too. Would you consider giving a special one time gift to support this work?

Build the case for a better earth

Thanks to the support of people like you, Ecojustice goes to court to protect what we value most — the air, land and water that sustains all life. Make your gift today and support bold litigation for a brighter environmental future.

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