An article published on April 29, 2014 in the Cornwall Standard-Freeholder cited some professional activists giving false information about our Energy East project. We wish to correct the record.
“We shouldn’t just allow a mega-project like this to come into our community without debate,” she (Council of Canadians chairperson Maud Barlow) said.
Since announcing the project in August 2013, TransCanada has engaged nearly 500 communities along the pipeline’s route, and held more than 80 open houses in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to ensure we can answer questions and get feedback from First Nation and Métis communities, landowners and local community members.
Barlow said most water treatment plants are not prepared for leaky or ruptured pipelines carrying bitumen and managers do not have an emergency plan in place.
One concern brought up in recent open houses was the need to protect watersheds. We agree. We will use special measures when crossing waterways, including thicker-walled pipe, a cathodic protection that prevents external corrosion and shut-off valves on each side of major water-crossings that will be remotely controlled by TransCanada’s high-tech Operations Control Centre, which will monitor the pipeline 24/7.
Along with these safety measures, the Energy East teams will implement comprehensive Emergency Response Plans (ERP) that include the placement of specialized equipment and trained field crews along the entire route as well as regular training exercises.
The problem with the Energy East pipeline is it will be carrying bitumen, which needs to be mixed with chemicals in order for it to flow through the pipeline and if there is a leak, it separates and sinks making clean-up difficult, Barlow explained.
The proposed Energy East pipeline will ship different types of oils – conventional light and heavy oil, oil from shale deposits (light oil), and oil from the oil sands both in the form of synthetic crude oil (light oil) and diluted bitumen (heavy oil). Several studies conducted by some of the world’s leading and most respected scientific research organizations (U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Battelle Memorial Institute, Penspen Institute and Natural Resources Canada…) have all concluded that diluted bitumen (oil sands bitumen diluted to flow into the pipeline) behaves the same way as conventional crude oils.
So like conventional crude oils, dilbit will float on water and has the potential to sink if it is allowed to stay in the water for an extended time, making a swift clean-up essential. This is why TransCanada works hard to develop and implement multiple, site-specific Emergency Response Plans in collaboration with local emergency responders to ensure quick response in the case of an incident.
Complete article: Cornwall Standard Freeholder – Published April 29, 2014