Article courtesy of Charles Mandel | April 6th, 2016 | National Observer | Shared as educational material.
Many residents in the northern Ontario community of Kenora are worried about the potential of an oil spill from the from the recently proposed Energy East pipeline. The proposal to build the pipeline has been met with reports asserting that the construction of said pipeline would be disastrous for the drinking water of five million Canadians in the area. Just a few months ago, the TransCanada pipeline had a spill in South Dakota, polluting numerous water sources in the area. Teika Newton, the executive director of the group against the Energy East Pipeline, believes that if the pipeline was built, all the fresh water in the region would be in the path of danger. A leak could easily allow contaminants into the region’s watershed, ultimately affecting the area’s economy, culture, and most importantly, health.
The report, specifically, points to all of TransCanada’s past pipeline spills–some pipelines that are running through Canada have already had over ten ruptures in the last twenty-five years. The infamous Keystone pipeline has leaked over seventy times two years after it became operational. In the area where the new pipeline is to flow, from Manitoba to New Brunswick, there are around three thousand water sources all of which have a deep connection with the people living around it–especially when as a source of drinking water. It’s only logical to say that the presence of an oil pipeline could have the potential to create a water crisis. Once contaminated, the water would stay that way, if not get worse, for the next several years.
TransCanada promises that it will take the highest possible preventive measures it can take in order to make sure an accident doesn’t happen. That being said, environmentalists and other protestors argue that it is better not to take the chance than be sorry. Read more about the debate here.