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Concerned about tanker impacts on whales, environmental groups launch court challenge

Last Updated Jun 19, 2016 at 7:39 am PDT

Killer Whale (Orca) , Queen Charlotte Strait , BC. (iStock Photo)

Two environmental groups are worried about the effect of more tankers on killer whales

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Worried about the effect of more tankers on killer whales, a court challenge is being launched by two environmental groups.

The specific claim from the groups is that the final report for the Trans Mountain expansion is unlawful.

The Living Oceans Society and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation claim the National Energy Board broke the law by not factoring in the Species at Risk Act for its final assessment of the Trans Mountain expansion.

“The National Energy Board, when it did its review, it seemed to cherry pick the laws that it was going to apply,” says lawyer Karen Campbell with Ecojustice. “It arbitrarily decided it was going to apply some laws and not apply other laws.”

Campbell says southern resident killer whales will be put at serious risk by tanker noise pollution.

“Our clients put in evidence to the board that said that the risk of the tankers from this project alone would increase the likelihood that the whales are going to die off altogether by 50 percent,” says Campbell.

Our coast is expected to see seven times more tanker traffic if the Trans Mountain expansion takes place.