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Quarmby calls for ban on tankers carrying bitumen

Green candidate says ban would stop Kinder Morgan's dilbit shipments
Westridge tanker
Tanker carrying diluted bitumen.

Lynne Quarmby, the science-professor-turned-Green-candidate, is calling for a ban on supertankers, including vessels shipping diluted bitumen from Kinder Morgan’s Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby.

Quarmby, along with the Green’s federal leader Elizabeth May, talked about the party’s plan to ban supertankers on B.C.’s coast at an Aug.18 event in Victoria.

The ban would include Aframax tankers, the mid-sized vessels many of Kinder Morgan’s customers currently use to fill up with oil at the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, but only ones carrying diluted bitumen, according to Quarmby.

“There’s a higher risk to that,” she said. “One of the things I think is least appreciated, … is the ‘dil’ part, the diluents, they are volatile chemicals. They separate out of this stuff and go into the air. ... They are neurotoxins. … When I work with small volumes of these chemicals in the lab, I do it with a fume hood.”

Quarmby is running in Burnaby North-Seymour, the riding that encompasses the Kinder Morgan pipeline terminus and the Westridge dock. She was also among the hundreds arrested on Burnaby Mountain last fall, while protesting the pipeline.