For Immediate Release
SAINT JOHN, NB - Energy East Pipeline hearings left questions unanswered for intervenors from Sierra Club Canada Foundation yesterday in Saint John, NB. Emma Hebb, Chair of the Atlantic Canada Chapter and Gretchen Fitzgerald, National Program Director participated In the first day of National Energy Board Panel sessions aimed at gathering local knowledge and addressing questions left unanswered byTransacada's environmental impact assessment.
"The benefits to Canadians are being told about this project have to do with taking more oil off of railways and decreasing imported oil in our region," states Chapter Chair Emma Hebb, " But it's clear from the responses we got yesterday that there are no commitments that this will happen."
"The pipeline is a huge investment In fossil fuel infrastructure when we need to be switching as quickly as possible to renewables and efficiency," according to National Program Director Gretchen Fitzgerald , "Protected drinking water areas for thousands of New Brunswickers are in its path, and a spill would devastate fisheries and threaten endangered right whales and other vital species in the Bay of Fundy. It was disheartening that our questions were met with pat answers rather than real efforts to address issues with the project. It's clear the Panel will have its work cut out for them."
Sierra Club raised concerns with the environmental review process and asked questions regarding impacts on water, higher risks associated with bitumen spills to the environment, commitments that the pipeline would displace rail or oil imports, and if TransCanada had addressed specific emergency responses needed to clean up heavy, sticky bitumen.
"This is the end point for the 1.1 million barrels-per-dayTranscanada pipeline, and where oil in the pipe will be transferred to tankers for export," states Emma Hebb, " The danger to the community caused by this oil needs to be fully recognized and addressed. I am particularly alarmed that concerns of residents of Red Head and Anthony's Cove - such as an emergency response plan in case of an explosion, spill, or fire and monitoring for impacts on well-water - have not been addressed."
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