Posted on March 31, 2020 (updated: March 31, 2020)

Ecojustice: Minister should not approve terminal expansion that will have ‘adverse’ impacts on endangered killer whales

Southern Resident chasing Chinook, Oregon State University via Flickr
Photo by Oregon State University via Flickr

VANCOUVER – Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change should not approve a proposed terminal expansion at the mouth of British Columbia’s Fraser River, Ecojustice says, following a panel report that found the project would have significant adverse impacts on the environment.

A report by a federal review panel, issued Friday, March 27, confirmed the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project would have “numerous” adverse effects on the environment, including “significant adverse effects on Chinook salmon” and “significant adverse and cumulative effects on Southern Resident killer whales.”

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson has 150 days after the release of the report to decide whether to approve the project or refer the decision to Cabinet.

Ecojustice lawyer Dyna Tuytel released the following statement in response to the panel’s report:

“The federal review panel report on the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 Project confirms what Ecojustice and its clients have said all along: If built, this project would cause significant harm to the environment and threaten precarious salmon populations and endangered killer whales.

“According to the federal panel, the Terminal 2 Project would disrupt migration patterns for Chinook salmon.  This would also have implications further up the food chain. Any decline in Chinook jeopardizes the future of the Southern Resident killer whales, a population that relies on Chinook for survival. Other impacts from the project include greater underwater noise, which interferes with the orcas’ ability to hunt and communicate, and loss of critical Southern Resident habitat.

“Given the panel’s findings, Ecojustice urges Minister Wilkinson not to approve the Terminal 2 Project.”

About

Ecojustice goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, innovative public interest lawsuits lead to legal precedents that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax.

Ecojustice represented the David Suzuki Foundation, Georgia Strait Alliance, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Wilderness Committee in the federal panel review of the Terminal 2 Project.

For media inquiries

Please contact Emily Chan, echan@ecojustice.ca, 1 800 926 7744 ext. 277

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