Who are the Concerned Professional Engineers?
An experienced group of Independent Professional Engineers. See a list of our members here.
We are a small group of independent Professional Engineers and Engineering Professors. Together we have more than 100 years of experience designing and operating large projects such as arctic drilling structures, offshore supply vessels, double hull tanker barges, oil spill cleanup equipment, tugboats, workboats, marine operations support vessels, and coal terminals.
What is Acceptable Risk?
Kinder Morgan’s stated risk for their expansion is that over the 50 year operating life of their project, there is a 10 percent chance of a moderate spill occurring, moderate being 8.25 million litres. The MV Marathassa spill of April 2015 in English Bay was 2800 litres, and the Exxon Valdes spill of 1989 was approximately 40 million litres of crude.
Yet, the acceptable risk for a building designed to withstand an earthquake is 2% over a 50 year operating life, and for a bridge, it is 1/10 of 1%. If we are going to allow tankers into the Vancouver area, what is the risk level that we accept? Is it the same as earthquakes or collisions with bridges, which have more stringent codes, or should exceptions be made? CPE believes that the risk of a spill in KM’s Transmountain Expansion analysis is too high, and we are opposed to the expansion.
While we know what Kinder Morgan’s findings are for spills, we do not know what they determine to be the risk of colliding with a bridge in the Burrard Inlet. If the Second Narrows Highway bridge were disabled, it would be devastating to Greater Vancouver and its economy.
We believe that a proper analysis of risk needs to be made to ascertain whether risks proposed by Kinder Morgan are acceptable and this needs to be peer reviewed. As well, it should include the risk of collisions with bridges, and the consequences resulting in bridges being put out of service.