Ecology Ottawa Raises Concerns Over Train Traffic, Oil Spills from Energy East

April 3 – For Immediate Release

Ecology Ottawa Raises Concerns Over Train Traffic, Oil Spills from Energy East

Ottawa – While TransCanada is holding their second open house this evening in North Gower about the TransCanada pipeline, Ecology Ottawa has conducted its own research that points to the risks of dangerous train traffic that would increase because of the pipeline, and the risks of a pipeline spill.

Ecology Ottawa volunteer Mike Fletcher, a professional in bio-fuel engineering and energy management, authored three reports outlining the risk of increased train transportation of dangerous hydrocarbons, and the immediate and long-term impacts of a potential spill within the Ottawa region.

In his first report, Fletcher points to the largely ignored fact this pipelines would lead to more rail traffic. Diluents, light and flammable hydrocarbons, must be added to the bitumen to allow it to flow through the pipeline, then removed and shipped back. This would lead to as much as 450 train cars of highly toxic and flammable diluents being shipped across the country – every single day.

His report on the impact of pipeline spills looks at spills of diluted bitumen in the United States and describe a scenario that would put the health and well being of nearby residents of the pipeline spill at risk but also the members of the emergency response teams in our city.

Fletcher’s final report, released today, shows why this pipeline has the potential to leak or rupture and how a spill can permanently depopulate areas surrounding the spill due to irreversible contamination of land and water.

“The risks associated with this pipeline are too high for Ottawa to take. It is not a question of if a spill will happen, but when, and it raises a lot of questions about whether we’re prepared for such a scenario”, says Fletcher.

Ecology Ottawa’s Ben Powless agrees, “This pipeline creates a risk of dilbit spills into neighbourhoods and water supplies, while also increasing the chances of railway accidents due to the transportation of toxic and flammable diluents by rail. We stand with the thousands of residents who have already said no to this pipeline.”

Ecology Ottawa and other local groups will be present at TransCanada’s open house, to talk to local residents about the risks. The open house takes place at the Albert Taylor Recreation Centre, 2300 Community Way in North Gower from 4-8 pm.

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The reports can be accessed at:

New Research on Rail Risks of Energy East Pipeline
No Trivial Matter: Imagining A Pipeline Spill in Ottawa
The Gift that Keeps on Misgiving: An (Unending) Ottawa Dilbit Spill

For more information contact:

Ben Powless
Community Organizer, Pipeline Campaign
Ecology Ottawa
(613) 860-5353

One Comment on “Ecology Ottawa Raises Concerns Over Train Traffic, Oil Spills from Energy East

  1. Reblogged this on travellingdoris and commented:
    A single spill could devastate aquifers, poison our water supplies, and affect the health of people, animals, plants … given how many spills there have been – and how ‘differently able’ the industry seems to be at reporting them – and cleaning up, I have zero confidence in any other their claims about safety or risk management. The thing is, even if there were no spills the truth is this pipeline is part of the expansion plans for the Alberta Tar Sands. Given the TarSands already lethel results. Each barrel of oil produced from the tar sands uses from 110 to 350 gallons of water (or 2 to 6 barrels) of water. Toxic wastewater is discharged in holding or tailing ponds that LEAK11 million liters of toxic waste per day into the Athabasca and seep into the ground water. The results of this are that many indigenous people whose traditional lands have been occupied by the Tar Sands are now experiencing rare and virulent cancers and fish and game have been found with physical abnormalities and deformations and tumors in fish.

    This pipeline – being suggested for Ottawa – is bad for our city and bad for our climate, our land, water, people, plants, animals – food. I totally support the TarFree613 campaign.

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