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SJC League of Women Voters call for no-net increase in crude oil shipments

Diane Martindale - Contributed photo
Diane Martindale
— image credit: Contributed photo

— Submit comments on the draft EIS for BP's North Dock at Cherry Point to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District 4735 East Marginal Way South Seattle, WA 98134 Attention: Olivia Romano or olivia.h.romano@usace.army.mil. Deadline is Wednesday Aug. 6.

Good afternoon,

My name is Diane Martindale from San Juan Island and I am the president of LWVSJ. Our islands sit in the middle of what is called The Rotary in the Haro Strait.

All tanker ships must go around us. We support the state LWV position against terminal expansion and increased crude oil shipping in the Salish Sea.

We request that that Army Corp of Engineers prevent any increase in shipping of crude oil, including tar sands, and have spill prevention plans and equipment in place asap.

Let me introduce you to my home. Many of you have kayaked, fished or sailed past my house. Our waters are home to 113 endangered species, and hundreds of recreational (1) vessels and fishing vessels and ferries.

We live in, and you visit our 478 miles of pristine shoreline because it is a stunning and peaceful environment.(2) We all enjoy the protected lands- all at the water’s edge-

• San Juan Island National Historical Park

• San Juan Islands National Monument

• San Juan Wilderness(3)

Additionally, we have a protected marine reserve(4), National wildlife refuge(5) and sensitive fish recovery zones.(6) We are home to the U of W Friday Harbor Marine Labs with 95 marine research zones.(7)

900,000 of you visit annually. Our tourism-based economy (8) is made up of accommodations, retail sales, restaurants, whale watching, outfitting and leisure activities. An oil spill would collapse our fishing industry.(9) A spill would devastate our economy and hardest hit would be those in the service industries.

Tourism is a minimum of 32% of our economy(10) valued at a minimum of $186.6 MM, annually.(11) (12) That may not be much money to you, but to us, it is everything.

Already more than 48 MM tons of coal travels through our waters and 500 oil tankers transit the Rosario Strait alone. (13) (14) [ Average of 2400 transits a month go around our islands.(15)

With the potential Cherry Point expansion and the Kinder-Morgan and other projects we are looking at a dramatic increase of shipping past our doors. (Increased bulk shipping by 50% and oil tankers by 300%) This translates into a 34% increased risk of an accident and oil spill in our waters.(16)

But there is so much more in the islands that we value-nature and our wildlife. Toxic vapors that are present just above an oil spill can andhave proven to kill and damage orcas.(17) As a documented model, the Exxon Valdez oil spill killed 22 orcas. A large (18) increase in underwater propeller noise could interfere with Orcas ability to echo-locate food.(19)

Also, we have the largest concentration of bald eagles in the continental US—they eat salmon.(20)

We can’t even guess what a spill would do to our property values. Would you still come for a vacation?

Please do not let this refinery dock increase the oil tanker traffic for either crude or refined oil. Require BP to provide an actual usage report of the number of vessel calls, products transported and oil-related incidents.

Please enforce the Magnuson law prohibiting federal permits that will result in increased crude oil tank traffic. Require a COMPREHENSIVE environmental impact statement which covers danger to human, plant and animal health.

Require the financial responsibility of crashes and spills be approved and spill prevention plans and equipment be in place as soon as possible.

Thank you.

- Citations below:

1 http://www.seadocsociety.org/salish-sea-facts/

2 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Juan_Islands

3 http://www.visitsanjuans.com/the-islands/san-juan-islands-parks

4 Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/mpa/friday_harbor.html

5 U.S Fish and Wildlife Service http://www.fws.gov/refuges/profiles/index.cfm?id=13532

6 Moulton, L.L. and Daniel Penttila. San Juan County Forage Fish Assessment Project ForageFish Spawning Distribution In San Juan County and Protocols for Sampling Intertidal andNearshore Regions. June 2000

7 Mills, Claudia. http://faculty.washington.edu/cemills/studysites.html

8 Marrett, Barbara. San Juan Islands Visitors’ Bureau 7/24/2014

9 Amadeo, Kimberly. Effects of Exxon Valdez Oil Spill on the Economy. http://useconomy.about.com/od/suppl1/p/Exxon_Valdez_Oil_Spill_Economic_Impact.htm10

10 Henley, Milene. Interview. July 23, 2014.

11 Henley, Milene. Interview using business income and taxable retail sales. July 23, 2014.

12 Marrett, Barbara. San Juan Islands Visitors’ Bureau.

13 http://www.coaltrainfacts.org

14 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosario_Strait

15 Van Dorp, Johan, John Harrald, Jason R.W. Merrick and Martha Grabowski. Assessment ofOil Spill Risk due to Potential Increased Vessel Traffic at Cherry Point, Washington. August,2008. www.seas.gwu.edu/~dorpjr/VTRA/FINAL%20REPORT/083108/VTRA%20REPORT%20-%20Main%20Report%20083108.pdf

16 Conversation with Val Veirs

17 NOAA, From Orca Recovery Plan, 2006, p.111

18 NOAA, From Orca Recovery Plan, 2006. p. 51

19 Veirs, Vall. Interview, July 23, 2014.20 San Juan Islands Visitors’ Bureau

 

 

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