About Me

If you have reached this website you were probably directed here because you were interested in what I have to say about pipelines. While many of these posts will be on that topic, my background is not specifically in pipeline technology and so most posts will not dwell on the topic. Like any new blog I will have to earn your trust and one of the ways of doing that it to tell you a bit about myself.

As my blog names suggests, I am a resident of the Township of Langley, living in the community of Walnut Grove. I have a very selfish reason for being interested in the Trans-Mountain pipeline in that my home is less than 50 m from the current Trans-Mountain right-of-way/pipeline. When I moved into my current neighbourhood, I was fully aware of the proximity of the Trans-Mountain pipeline and was comfortable with its presence. This is of particular note because in my professional life I am a Registered Professional Chemist and a Registered Professional Biologist and have been appointed to the Roster of Approved Professionals by the BC Ministry of Environment’s Director of Waste Management as a Standards Assessment Specialist (Contaminated Sites Approved Professional).

My area of expertise is the investigation and remediation of petroleum hydrocarbon contamination and the assessment of hydrocarbon contamination on human and ecological health. In my work, I have developed expertise in addressing the requirements of the British Columbia Environmental Management Act and its associated Contaminated Sites and Hazardous Waste Regulations for industrial and municipal clients. In my 15 years of practice I have coordinated multi‑stage environmental investigations; developed and implemented remediation plans; coordinated human health and ecological risk assessments and sediment quality/toxicity evaluations; and prepared reports for submission to the Ministry of Environment (remediation completion reports; human health and ecological risk assessments; remedial action plans; preliminary and detailed site investigations; and permit compliance reporting). In addition to provincial regulations, I have developed remediation plans to address the requirements of federal and local legislation and regulations from the Fisheries Act to local and municipal bylaws and have prepared reports for federal, provincial and municipal regulators. 

In my professional capacity I serve as a technical specialist in areas including: industrial chemistry; sources, fate and transport, and bidegradation of chemical contaminants; effects of contaminants on natural systems; and ecosystem restoration. My graduate research was in the fields of Chemistry and Environmental Science and involved improving the availability of high-quality multidisciplinary scientific data for use in environmental decision-making. This included developing standardised protocols to evaluate multidisciplinary data including specialised protocols for organic trace data, toxicological experiments and biological responses to organic contaminants. Coincidentally, one of my original research cases used to develop our methodology was an examination of the field of climate change. As such I have been reading the literature on climate change since the early 1990s and I have some pretty strong opinions on that topic as well.

I’m sorry if the above sounds a bit like bragging, but what I am trying to establish is that in the field of hydrocarbon spills and clean-up I am not a novice. My aim is to inform readers and supply useful information to assist in conducting a reasonable discussion on the transportation and use of petroleum hydrocarbons. I acknowledge that I will not always be the expert (or even right) but will endeavour to make corrections when my errors are pointed out and provide links to those who know more than I do on a topic.

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5 Responses to About Me

  1. So….I guess a person who’s basic job description involves the cleanup and mitigation of oil/fuel spill disasters, it would be fair to say that you would promote anything oily in order to provide work/income. Common sense business people, and traditional Canadians, feel that the PROCESS here is flawed. Now we are investing, at the insistence of the Boy Prime Minister, in a project the Americans agreed to dump, without knowing what the end cost will be. They propose to market oil to customers on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, a trip over a vast ocean with perilous weather and sea conditions, and in boats of manufacture from many countries. The environmental risks in this sort of thing are enormous. There is a natural gas pipeline running from Alberta to Ontario which was built mostly in the late 1950’s and through which flows a massive volume of gas which is consumed in Ontario daily. Meanwhile Ontario residents (more than the western provinces and the territories combined) buy oil refined in the USA and oil sourced as far away as Saudi Arabia. What would be wrong with using the existing gas line right-of-way to lay down a new oil line, through which that oil sands crude could be sent here to Ontario refineries? Why not address these Canadian markets first. The gas line has been functioning for what…70 years or so? An oil line linked to the huge supply of Tar Sands oil could endure over the same course in time as the gas line. Who in their right mind …what business man…would want to invest Canadian dollars in a pipeline in the USA, when Donald Trump could have another TIA and decide that somehow we should be gouges, disadvantaged and “taxed” at his whim, on a cross border oil transport program? Finally, this time, the native communities have it right. The process should slow down until “all” the questions have been adequately addressed by qualified people. How many oil tankers to west coast folks want floating about in the Georgia Straits at one time? Given the treasured tool of history, we know that an imminent on-the-coast disaster is more likely than not, and indeed it is just a question of time as the number of oil ships increase. Trudeau managed to perform another one of his drama presentations last month, to native leaders in the north shore sector of BC, suggesting that his new “bill” would adequately protect the seas, the shore and the environment forever. Typical Liberal fodder. However in the more populated parts of BC…along the southern coast and on the Island, he has simply said….”get stuffed…we just bought Kinder Morgan and the pipeline will go ahead!” Young Trudeau is learning these days, that he simply cannot suck and blow in the same province on the same issue at the same time, without there being serious consequences of a political nature. Trudeau bears a sacred animal symbol on his upper left shoulder, in fact a Haida image of a spirit raven which he tattooed there without the consent of the artist or any native band. Subsequently, when he became Prime Minister, the artist sortof accepted that bit of infringement by the white Prime Minister. Now that he has lied to most of the coastal tribes, and tried to deceive them, perhaps he should be asked to remove that special spirit bird symbol, to preserve the integrity and the reputation which that wonderful bird and image represent. The story goes like this. “Trudeau finally decided to have his tattoo acknowledged and approved, thus one of the smaller coastal bands accepted and adopted him as a member, his racial profile of a European background notwithstanding. The fireside ceremony demanded that a native name be bestowed upon young Trudeau. The name “Walking Raven” was agreed upon and conferred at the ceremony. When the CBC reporter later asked why the old chief had chosen the name Walking Raven, the old fellow replied…it was easy…because that young kid is so full of crap he will never fly!” Walking Raven has agreed to invest almost $5 billion into a project which demands a huge immediate capital injection for which there have been no accurate and detailed descriptions as to the virtual end cost. Who does that in 2018? Further it is being repeatedly said, that the far eastern markets on the other side of the Pacific which are being targeted, indeed will dwindle out within the next five years, on a continual downward swing, as new Chinese oil comes on stream as well as more competition from other eastern traditional sources. The idea of slowing this down, doing the homework first, is just common sense. However between the leadership in Alberta, BC and Ottawa, common sense is in short supply. I wish those cruise ships and yankee ships could be taxed off the waters of Georgia Straits, for all the right reasons. There will be a sea disaster in Coastal BC, and this sort of proposal brings it closer in the forefront of time. My family came here when there was no Canada, no government, no laws, no roads for the most part, no railroad etc. Our old HBC name is etched in from Quebec to downtown Vancouver. I truly love the nature rich attributes of this country, and the indians…indigenous peoples or natives…whatever we are calling them this week…absolutely have it right. In absence of all the facts, and in the presence of ignorance, moving ahead…rushing ahead with borrowed money, is beyond risky and unwise. It is simply stupid and unacceptable. These are huge risks. Your impressive knowledge and your dedication to the fossil fuel trade, does not absolve us of the right to be concerned that some virtual idiot in these proposed elevated risk circumstances, could have a huge devastating effect on a large section of BC coast. Sadly, the salmon, the bears, the selkies and the sea lions, the killer whales and the eagles, and all their neighbors, don’t get a vote. It is people like you who will attempt to mould the views of the public and our governments. Again…it is not about those details at this point, but rather it is about a flawed process. Something of this magnitude deserves engaging the study spread over the treasured tool of time to ensure the best foot is put forward. Some quiet voices are saying…why not a northern route…a shipping terminal just south of the BC/Alaska border, with a route to the sea north of and around Vancouver Island to the west, avoiding Georgia Straits totally. If nothing else, it is an interesting thought which has never been unravelled.
    Thanks for your efforts and information. Hopefully the project will not compile a financial disaster for Canadians and an environmental disaster for the world. Nowhere in the entire Pacific Ocean they propose to cross with this oil, do we deserve to have a catastrophic spill. A spill on our BC coastal waters would be an unprecedented crime against world nature.

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    • Blair says:

      I have no vested interests in the project and no desire to clean up another oil spill which is why I support the project.

      Like

    • YMMV says:

      You say: “The story goes like this. “Trudeau finally decided to have his tattoo acknowledged and approved, thus one of the smaller coastal bands accepted and adopted him as a member”

      I can’t find anything that supports this claim. Pierre Trudeau (and family) were adopted by Davidson’s grandmother when Justin was four. Robert Davidson was also there, and also four. Pierre’s new name was Kihl Gulaans.
      https://www.straight.com/blogra/729001/who-did-your-ink-justin-trudeaus-haida-inspired-tattoo-tied-his-past

      Justin did not ask for permission, true. Reports of what Robert Davidson (the artist) and other Haida think vary by report. “honoured” or “disappointment”.
      https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/haida-leaders-proud-of-justin-trudeaus-stylized-raven-tattoo
      https://www.macleans.ca/politics/ottawa/skin-deep-the-awkwardness-of-justin-trudeaus-haida-tattoo/

      The name “Walking Raven” is perhaps being confused with “Raven Walks Around the World” (Yaahl Hlaagaay Gwii Kaas) which is the name of Thom Henley, whose fascinating story involves Haida Gwaii, Pierre Trudeau, and the Davidsons. His book is highly recommended.
      http://harbourpublishing.com/title/RavenWalksAroundtheWorld

      As for the quiet voices who are asking why not a northern route… the CBC has mentioned it.
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/the-b-c-pipeline-project-you-ve-never-heard-of-and-why-it-may-succeed-1.4646892
      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/is-eagle-spirit-energy-s-pipeline-the-new-northern-gateway-1.4651969

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      • Thanks for your response…truly. In fact the walking eagle thing is a joke, common across the country, and seemingly fitting of young Trudeau. I had a friend (deceased) named Peter who for many years spent his summers with the Haida people, spending his days in the shark house where he was tutored in mask carving by the masters. I have one of his carvings which was so tutored…a hawk mask…very traditional…well done. As a person of part and distant native heritage (my kin were HBC fur traders…many of them…for well over 150 years, from Orkney) I know and well understand the significance of spirit animals in native culture. For young Trudeau to on one hand, scoop up an online image and have it imprinted on his body, without consultation or permission, is beyond offensive to many of us with native roots. For him to deliberately “dupe” coastal indians in this Kinder Morgan immense “push” is just horrible. The insincerity in many minds, demands his tattoo be removed forthwith. For me…well, as an old bush pilot type, the son of another of the same, I just love natural Canada. I have been to many native communities in our remote north, from the Yukon (Haines Junction area..1969 where I lived) to across Ontario and the Blood Reserve in south west Alberta. My old friend, the native history expert Peter would travel with me to Pow Wow’s this time of year. I have had the marvelous experience of having at one critical point of my life, a true, honest real and powerful native sprit animal dream. I had that dream interpreted by several native senior folks, and thus I am self assured that these symbols are not just art to blast onto t-shirts or Trudeau’s upper arm. For him to shun, avoid and ignore the pleas of the natives on this sensitive issue, is beyond offensive. As for the issue, there are far too many unanswered questions about the environment, the future of the overseas market, and the alternative routes which could evade the pressures rising up regarding the potential for a tragedy on coveted populous waters of the Georgia Straits. So ….is slowing down the thing to do? Or do we as a people just have our political animal egocentric prime minister jump in with both feet on a gut feel, and literally BUY the corporation who was involved in this “hurryup” oil money push? I say..first up….build a pipeline on the TCP easement in existence, to the eastern refineries. Why not establish a solid Canadian market for Canadian crude…first? The Natives in this country often and with justification are deemed to be just greedy…a welfare state with the hand out always. Other folks actually better understand their issues. I have seen them…lived among those issues. In this case…Trans Mountain…they are completely within their rights to ask for this to slow down. If ever they had a right to intercede on behalf of their people, culture and values, then THIS IS IT! We are talking about THEIR lands, THEIR culture, THEIR values and rights, and THEIR historic environment and the natural components thereof. I predict the Supreme Court of Canada will hear a case, and things will be slowed down for that reason alone, certainly not because of any pining of justice by young Trudeau. He won’t be dancing in a nightdress around native campfires in Canada anymore, nor in India for that matter. Our prime minister, lacks maturity and fundamental common sense. He…like the summer sunset…will fade and disappear. Thanks for the communication. I am enjoying your pages. Throughout the Supreme Court process, the dialogue will get interesting on your site. Thanks Again….Stephen Davie (thanks for directing me to the pieces on an alternative route! Your effort was greatly appreciated.)

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      • YMMV says:

        https://business.financialpost.com/opinion/trudeaus-tanker-ban-is-making-many-indigenous-communities-angry-heres-why
        “Trudeau’s tanker ban is making many Indigenous communities angry. Here’s why”

        “In fact, in the case of Eagle Spirit, it is unanimous. All 35 First Nations situated along the proposed pipeline corridor have indicated in-principle support for this project.”

        Like

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