Don't SpOIL Our Waters! - COMMENTS DUE NOV 20


Dear Safe Shippers,

Since 2014, we have been sending comment letters to Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) in order to protect our shorelines and our Southern Resident Killer Whales (SRKW) from the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project — the vessels from which would be carrying diluted bitumen (dilbit) Alberta Tar Sands right through critical orca habitat.

Also since 2014, the Southern Resident orcas have lost 9 family members.

Today, we continue to tell the NEB that this project’s profit margin does not justify the risk of a dilbit spill in the Salish Sea, threatening the already fragile existence of the SRKWs.

Does this feel like déjà vu?
The Canadian courts quashed this project last August because the NEB failed to 1. Properly consult with First Nations, and 2. Adequately consider vessel impacts on marine wildlife. Trudeau is committed to seeing this project through, however, so he has asked the NEB to conduct a review redo.

This is another chance for us to protect the orca. Please send in your comments asking the NEB to address the full costs of this project’s risks and impacts.


COMMENT DEADLINE: Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Submit your comment letter directly to the NEB — online or by fax.

• NEB Fax: 403-292-5503 or toll-free at 1-877-288-8803
(Plan for possible last-minute submissions to tie up the phone line)
Note: If you are unable to send a fax, Friends of the San Juans will send it for you. Please send your document by email to or bring a paper copy to their office (650 Mullis Street, Suite 201, Friday Harbor) by noon on Mon., November 19.

You may also send (and customize) this form letter provided on’s website:
All comments must include:
• Hearing Order MH-052-2018 and File OF-Fac-Oil-T260-2013-03 59
• Your name, mailing address, and phone number


An oil spill risk analysis commissioned by the Tsleil-Waututh Nation found that in a 50-year time period there is a 37% likelihood of a project tanker-related large spill (>10,000 barrels) and a 29% chance of a “worst case” spill (103,782 barrels) along the project’s vessel traffic route from Burrard Inlet to Georgia Strait, though Boundary Pass and Haro Strait, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  Note: The Trans Mountain Pipeline and shipping facilities are located within Tsleil-Waututh traditional territory in Burrard Inlet.

CBC News: “Ottawa gives pipeline regulator 22 weeks to review Trans Mountain expansion project”

Financial Post: “Timeline: Key dates in the history of the Trans Mountain pipeline”
Vancouver Sun: “Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Environment Minister in B.C.”
Interactive webpage: The Globe and Mail: “What the Trans Mountain pipeline will mean for B.C.’s coast”
Orca Protectors is an outreach arm of San Juan Islanders for Safe Shipping. Since 2012, informed and engaged “Safe Shippers” have taken action to educate and empower fellow citizens, visitors, island organizations, and local government to promote the environmental and economic health of the Salish Sea and island shores — so that all creatures can live, thrive and enjoy the islands together.

Orca Protectors was formed by Safe Shippers in 2017 by inviting local, but historically disparate, organizations to march together in the Friday Harbor July 4th parade for the common cause of Southern Resident whale protection and recovery — earning the Judge’s Special Choice Award and demonstrating the power of cooperation.