Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Tar Sands Pipeline Proposal Has Canadians Scared after Disastrous Michigan Spill

Energy

Environmental Defence

Enbridge is asking the National Energy Board to approve the additions and modifications required to allow the reversal of crude oil flow within a segment of Line 9 from the Sarnia Terminal to the North Westover Station in southwestern Ontario.

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation blasted Enbridge for “too little focus on safety” that led to a disastrous tar sands oil spill in Michigan two years ago, and compared the company’s response to the “Keystone cops." It could be a taste of things to come for Ontario, since the pipeline company wants to ship tar sands oil through the province.

Environmental Defence called on Ontario to protect its rivers and lakes from oil spills, noting that a tar sands oil spill is harder to clean up than normal oil. Enbridge is facing fines for 24 pipeline safety violations in Michigan, and as such, shouldn’t be given the okay to transport tar sands oil through its aging Line 9 pipeline. The company wants to change the direction of this pipeline so it can ship tar sands oil east from Sarnia.

“We can’t sit back and trust Enbridge to protect our water given their behaviour in Michigan. But with federal rules now weaker, we’re asking the province to protect Ontario’s land and water from a dangerous tar sands oil spill,” said Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence. “If an oil spill happens, people will look to the province to clean up the mess, so we’re asking them to be proactive now.”

In just the first leg of the Line 9 pipeline, 357 ‘crack-like features’ were detected during the last inspection, which led to the rupture in Michigan. In light of the damning U.S. government findings into Enbridge’s safety track record, McEachern said there’s reason to be alarmed.

“The U.S. government found repeated instances of disregard for safety. The simple fact is if Enbridge can’t ship tar sands oil safely in Michigan, why would it in Ontario?” McEachern asked. “This company hasn’t earned a blank cheque to put Ontario’s land and water at risk of a dangerous tar sands oil spill.”

The review of the Line 9 proposal is being handled by the National Energy Board. To date, it has failed to consider whether there’s an increased risk of oil spills due to shipping raw tar sands oil through Line 9, and what the impact of a spill would be. Yet the Michigan spill has shown that tar sands oil is harder clean up and has more serious health and environmental impacts than normal oil when it does spill. Among these is that unlike normal oil, tar sands oil sinks instead of floating when spilled into water.

Environmental Defence sent a letter to Environment Minister Jim Bradley today asking the province to investigate these risks given the number of rivers the Line 9 pipeline crosses. These include the Grand, Credit, Rouge and Trent. The pipeline also runs very close to the Great Lakes.

Visit EcoWatch's ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Oregano oil is an extract that is not as strong as the essential oil, but appears to be useful both when consumed or applied to the skin. Peakpx / CC by 1.0

By Alexandra Rowles

Oregano is a fragrant herb that's best known as an ingredient in Italian food.

However, it can also be concentrated into an essential oil that's loaded with antioxidants and powerful compounds that have proven health benefits.

Read More Show Less
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro meets Ronaldo Caiado, governor of the state of Goiás on June 5, 2020. Palácio do Planalto / CC BY 2.0

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has presided over the world's second worst coronavirus outbreak after the U.S., said Tuesday that he had tested positive for the virus.

Read More Show Less
Although natural gas produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, it is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Skitterphoto / PIxabay

By Emily Grubert

Natural gas is a versatile fossil fuel that accounts for about a third of U.S. energy use. Although it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants than coal or oil, natural gas is a major contributor to climate change, an urgent global problem. Reducing emissions from the natural gas system is especially challenging because natural gas is used roughly equally for electricity, heating, and industrial applications.

Read More Show Less
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved two Lysol products as the first to effectively kill the novel coronavirus on surfaces, based on laboratory testing. Paul Hennessy / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a list of 431 products that are effective at killing viruses when they are on surfaces. Now, a good year for Lysol manufacturer Reckitt Benckiser just got better when the EPA said that two Lysol products are among the products that can kill the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveils the Green New Deal resolution in front of the U.S. Capitol on February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. Alex Wong / Getty Images

By Judith Lewis Mernit

For all its posturing on climate change, the Democratic Party has long been weak on the actual policies we need to save us from extinction. President Barack Obama promised his presidency would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow," and then embraced natural gas, a major driver of global temperature rise, as a "bridge fuel." Climate legislation passed in the House in 2009 would have allowed industries to buy credits to pollute, a practice known to concentrate toxic air in black and brown neighborhoods while doing little to cut emissions.

Read More Show Less
About 30,000 claims contending that Roundup caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are currently unsettled. Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Bayer's $10 billion settlement to put an end to roughly 125,000 lawsuits against its popular weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, hit a snag this week when a federal judge in San Francisco expressed skepticism over what rights future plaintiffs would have, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Hundreds of sudden elephant deaths in Botswana aren't just a loss for the ecosystem and global conservation efforts. Mario Micklisch / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Charli Shield

When an elephant dies in the wild, it's not uncommon to later find its bones scattered throughout the surrounding landscape.

Read More Show Less