Enbridge May Be Unprepared For Spill Clean-Up

Two recent oil spills in Alberta have environmental risks of oil pipelines in the headlines, and now media have found documents showing that the Northern Gateway proposal was flagged for not including appropriate spill response plans.

The issue was brought up by officials at Aboriginal and Northern Affairs. The pipeline proposed by Enbridge crosses over the territory of several Aboriginal bands. Several of those communities have agreed to the pipeline in exchange for a 10 percent stake.

The Northern Gateway is meant to carry oil from the Alberta oilsands to the West Coast of British Columbia. It will cover over 1,200 km. The oil will then be exported, mostly to Asia.

With that long a pipeline, there are guaranteed to be issues.

Enbridge says they have addressed all the concerns raised by Aboriginal Affairs in 2010 and that they have always had an “aggressive emergency response.” No one at the Aboriginal and Northern Affairs could confirm that changes had been made to the plans for Postmedia.

Enbridge itself says the company meets or exceeds Canadian standards, but given the recent spill that wasn’t discovered until a competitor flew over the site, those standards don’t appear to be particularly high.

There are people across the country and especially in British Columbia fighting against the pipeline projects, not only because of the risk of spills but also because of the increased tanker traffic that may disrupt habitats along the route to Asia. Canadian Fisheries officials have raised concerns about the pipeline’s route across Alberta and BC, saying that Enbridge seems to be looking at the least expensive way to build rather than looking out for waterways.

The hearings about the pipeline being conducted through to April 2013 have been criticized by the Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver, who accused ‘radical‘ groups of trying to hijack the proceedings. More than 4,000 people applied to present at the hearings. In a grand irony, he accused these groups of being ideologically driven.


Related Stories:

5 Reasons Keystone XL Pipeline Is A Bad Idea

Oil Spills Expected If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved

Victory Against Ecosystem Destroying Pipeline

Photo Credit: ~Jen~


Magdalena C.
Past Member 2 years ago

Thank you!

Teresa Cowley
Teresa Cowley5 years ago

Why does anyone ever trust an oil company?
We need to cease our dependence on oil--but I guess I'm singing to the choir on this!

Lisa H.
Lisa H5 years ago

I'm just impressed that Canada thinks this might be a problem. It's VERY clear that the technology DOES NOT EXIST to clean up a spill. Fortunately, the sun is free, and makes all the power we can use.

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago

What happens when a terroest blow it up ???????????????

Ian Brown
Ian Brown5 years ago

You don't say.

DTimeOut C.
Past Member 5 years ago

Harper wants Northern Gateway passed esp. after Keystone XL was postponed. He became determined then to be able to sell Oilsands bitumen to Asia, those against Northern Gateway were labelled radicals and we now, thanks to the Con majority govt., we have Bill C-38 passed to make it easier for projects such as Enbridge to get the OK. BC which gains little from this proposal financially has a good record of rejecting environmentally damaging proposals though so many still are hopeful that at the end of the review process Northern Gateway will be rejected. There are some who say it would mean jobs and be good for BC's economy but in reality there are few long term jobs involved and the risks to the environment are just too great. Enbridge's poor record of cleaning up oil spills can be googled. Many who are speaking at the NG Review hearings are pointing to this poor record and how this company should not be allowed to build a pipeline through over a 1000 fish bearing streams in earthquake prone terrain and then let supertankers ship it through the dangerous Douglas Channel in the Great Bear Rainforest. Can't figure out why anyone thinks this makes sense.

Marg Wood
Marg W5 years ago

Canada is being sold out by the Harper Con government all for the sake of greed and power! They don't care what gets destroyed by this pipeline even if it's Canada and Canadians! They can escape but we can't!

J.L. A.
j A5 years ago

scary disregard for actual impacts?

Leslea Herber
Leslea Herber5 years ago

In Alberta, the spills are so prolific, that there's a serious to major spill every 1.4 DAYS. That's insane. It's inexcusable. This in a relatively flat & geographically calm area.

And now they want to run it over an area seriously prone to earthquakes and where there's more than a few volcanoes (it's not called the Pacific Ring of Fire for nothing!)... There's stupid, then there's playing Russian Roulette with a semi-automatic. As far as stupid ideas go, this one is a whopper.

Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago

Hit them where it hurts - in the wallet.