Following is our complete letter to the editor of the Toronto Star, in response to a recent article.
Your article by Raveena Aulakh published on September 28th contained incorrect information about TransCanada’s Energy East Pipeline Project and I appreciate the opportunity to provide you with some facts.
The article states that most residents of North Bay, Ontario, oppose our project. In fact, I would state the opposite. North Bay is a community we know well. Through our Canadian Mainline gas pipeline operations, we have been present in the area for nearly half a century. Our employees live and work in the area. We have received strong support from people in North Bay for Energy East.
Since proposing the Energy East oil pipeline project, we have worked hard to explain our plans. We have held open houses in North Bay to answer questions from local residents and collect feedback as we prepare our application for permits. Many of the residents we spoke to say the project will bring significant economic benefits but want it to be done safely. We completely agree.
There are communities in northern Ontario that have already expressed their support for Energy East. The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities – which includes the District of Nipissing and City of North Bay – passed formal resolutions in support of the Energy East project. We will continue to engage the communities in which we are present, and ensure through the layers of protection we are putting in place on Energy East, that we are able to deliver on the promise of a world-class, safe pipeline for the benefit of all Canadians.
This also includes meeting with local officials and first responders to work on emergency response plans. We are all deeply committed to protecting resources along the route, including water supplies that North Bay relies on. We have and will continue to work with local organizations including the Mattawa Conservation authority and Trout Lake Conservation Association, and discuss with local technical experts the best way to do this. We have also brought in third party environmental consultants to evaluate Trout Lake and that information will be available soon when we file our application to the National Energy Board.
At TransCanada, safety of the public, our employees and the environment is top priority.
We have already safely converted pipelines from gas to oil service. The most recent example is the conversion of 600 km of the Canadian Mainline for the Keystone Pipeline System, which has safely delivered more than 700 million barrels of crude oil to the United States over the past four years.
We will thoroughly clean the pipeline and inspect it with high-resolution tools to reassess its integrity before converting it. We will install electronic leak-detection systems allowing us to monitor it 24/7.
We will continue to do all that is necessary to ensure the safety and wellbeing of every community along the pipeline because these are our communities too.
We encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about our project to please call-1-855-895-8750 or visit EnergyEastPipeline.com.
Vice President, Ontario and Prairies
Energy East Pipeline Project