10/05/2015 03:59 EDT | Updated 10/05/2016 05:12 EDT

Northern Gateway Pipeline Court Challenge Is Now Underway

VANCOUVER — Environmental groups say the Northern Gateway pipeline project would pose a serious threat to humpback whales and, if allowed, would set a precedent for future projects.

ForestEthics Advocacy, Living Oceans Society, Raincoast Conservation Foundation and BC Nature are part of a Federal Court of Appeal challenge arguing the government erred in granting approval for the controversial, $7.5-billion megaproject.

Raincoast's Mistie MacDuffee says a bump in tanker traffic increases the likelihood of fatal collisions with whales and underwater noise interferes with their ability to survive. 

Joie Warnock with Unifor, which will also argue against the approval today, says the labour union does not oppose pipelines but takes issue with a faulty approval process that she describes as "rigged from the beginning."

The pipeline would carry bitumen between the Alberta oilsands to B.C.'s coast for export to foreign markets.

Eight First Nations argued in court last week that the federal government violated its duty to consult and accommodate aboriginal bands before approving the pipeline. 

Also on HuffPost

Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal