Pipeline panel arrives in Prince Rupert

The effects of a tanker port and increased tanker traffic off the west coast will be front and centre at hearings into the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline this week.

The panel reviewing the plan to build twin pipelines from the Alberta oilsands to a West Coast tanker port arrive in Prince Rupert, B.C. today.

Participants will be questioning witnesses under oath about the environmental and socio-economic effects of the marine terminal and the increased shipping it will bring to the West Coast.

Tim Leadems of Ecojustice says he'll be asking company experts about the effects on marine life, in particular the Pacific humpback whale.

The endangered whales frequent the Douglas Channel, which 200 tankers a year will traverse to reach the pipeline terminus in Kitimat, B-C.

Hearings wrapped up in Prince George last month and Prince Rupert is scheduled to host 10 weeks of hearings over the next few months.

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