VICTORIA – The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board findings released Tuesday on the Kalamazoo pipeline rupture and spill highlights the risks posed to British Columbia by the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline and shows why the B.C. Liberal government must stand up for B.C. against Enbridge's Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal, say New Democrats.
"Premier Clark and the Liberal government have failed to fully participate in the National Energy Board hearings into the pipeline, missing the deadline to submit evidence and represent the interests of British Columbians. The evidence we heard today from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board underlines the devastating effects the Enbridge pipeline could have on B.C.," said New Democrat leader Adrian Dix.
The Kalamazoo pipeline rupture report showed that Enbridge was unprepared, its systems were inadequate, and proper procedures were not in place despite the various inspections and controls that are supposed to prevent these episodes and to contain them with minimal impacts if they do occur.
“This report shows how easily systems fail, how human error is always possible and how the impacts on people and the environment are very significant,” said Rob Fleming, New Democrat environment critic.
The Michigan spill also demonstrated that dealing with bitumen from the Alberta oil sands is even more difficult than dealing with conventional oil because it is much heavier, more likely to sink and less easily contained.
The proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline in B.C. will carry bitumen across remote, highly valued areas of B.C., crossing almost 800 streams.
Fleming noted that a spill like the one in Kalamazoo would put valuable environments and species, such as salmon, at serious risk.
“Given the seriousness of this episode, the lasting effects on the environment and the lack of preparedness of Enbridge, it’s time for the Liberals to finally take a position on the Northern Gateway Pipeline,” said Fleming.
“B.C.’s New Democrats are taking a stand on the Enbridge pipeline because our province’s interests are not being adequately represented nor protected by the Liberal government in the review process. The Kalamazoo report findings highlight that the time for the Liberals to take a position is now,” said Dix.