A big issue in the Salish Sea right now is concern about increasing oil tanker traffic. Plans by Kinder Morgan to expand its Trans-Mountain pipeline could more than triple the amount of crude oil arriving at the pipeline’s terminus in Vancouver, B.C.
“There’ll definitely be more work for pilots…if the project comes to fruition,” says Brian Young, Director of Marine Operations for Canada’s Pacific Pilotage Authority in Vancouver.
The agency oversees marine pilots. These mariners are experts on the underwater topography, weather and other maritime conditions of the Salish Sea.
The pilots board all large ships before they are allowed to enter local waterways. They also take control of navigation to ensure safe passage, per Canadian law. The ships carrying Kinder Morgan’s crude oil take two pilots because they are so large.
“They call the shots in consultation with the captain and his team,” Young said.
To read more about Young's work and how marine pilots are preparing for a possible increase in tanker traffic, visit our "Return To The Salish Sea" website.