The Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition wants the province and city to stop threats to our drinking water before they start.
The lobby group released a report on the proposed TransCanada Energy East pipeline, which would see oil carried from Alberta to eastern Canada through converted natural gas pipelines. The report claims leaks in the pipeline could contaminate drinking water in Winnipeg, Portage la Prairie, Brandon, and elsewhere.
“If we get contamination from this pipeline, that cannot be solved by boiling water,” Vicki Burns, also director of Save Lake Winnipeg, said at The Forks on Monday. “This pipeline is simply too close for comfort. We can’t afford the very real threats to our water throughout our province. We really need to say no to the Energy East pipeline.”
The report was authored by retired biophysicist Dennis LeNeveu.
“One small leak from a nail-hole in the pipeline and one crack in the aqueduct is enough to contaminate our water and our entire water supply,” he said. “A big spill is an infrequent event but small spills happen all the time, so this is almost a certainty … It’s almost impossible to stop.”
However, Tim Duboyce, spokesman for TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Project, took issue with those suggestions.
“This is top of mind for us to make sure it is safe,” Duboyce said. “We have an enviable record in that we’ve never had an integrity leak on our oil lines. We upgrade and ensure the integrity of the pipes whenever we need to.”