"Deeper oil pipeline raises aquifer concerns"

Friends of the Lubicon
PO Box 444 Stn D,
Etobicoke ON M9A 4X4
Tel: (416) 763-7500
Email: fol (at) tao (dot) ca

October 14, 2008

Attached please find an article demonstrating that the Lubicon Nation is not the only government that TransCanada Corporation doesn’t seem to feel it needs to talk to. In this case, a Manitoba town found out -- only by accident -- that TransCanada’s oil pipeline route had been changed without anyone bothering to notify them. The pipeline is now slated to run right through their town’s drinking water aquifer.

That kind of behaviour is exactly why the Lubicon Nation insists that TransCanada needs to respect their regulatory processes before they’ll allow the company to run a jumbo pipeline through their territory.

Deeper oil pipeline raises Aquifer concerns
File this under "Oh, didn’t you know...?"

By Don Radford
Winkler Times

Friday August 15, 2008

Running an oil pipeline over the Winkler Aquifer is one thing. Running it through the Aquifer is another and not bothering to tell anyone is yet another.

Winkler city council is a little miffed about the lack of consultation and notice from TransCanada Pipelines when the energy company changed its plans for the pipeline that will carry more than half a million barrels of crude oil a day to the U.S. The council has fired off a letter to TransCanada telling the company it should have kept Winkler "in the loop" on the pipeline plans.

TransCanada has received approval to run the pipeline south through the eastern part of the Aquifer - a request made by Winkler after seeing initial plans that had the line running through the heart of the more sensitive primary recharge area. The revised plans don’t change the route (skirting the recharge area) but National Energy Board approval stipulated that part of it had to be buried considerably deeper than originally indicated (up to 20 metres rather than 1 to 2 metres). That change means part of the oil pipeline will run through the actual Aquifer rather than over it.

Winkler chief administrative officer Vince Anderson said the city learned of the depth change "by chance" - a TransCanada employee had asked for information about the city’s water pipelines. The deeper line will be "pushed" under the Shannon Creek to avoid disturbing the environment and wildlife along the creek.

In addition to putting its displeasure about the lack of notice from TransCanada in writing, the city says it reluctantly accepts the deeper line but only if the pipeline company agrees to a number of requests. Those include:

• keeping the city informed of any changes to the project;
• all clean up costs from oil leaks into, over or near the Aquifer will be covered by TransCanada;
• any testing required to check the Aquifer for hydrocarbons will be done and paid for by TransCanada;
• costs to Winkler resulting from any interruption of water supply from the Aquifer will be covered by TransCanada;
• TransCanada providing the city with an emergency plan detailing how any oil leak will be handled and cleaned up.

Mayor Martin Harder said TransCanada has assured the city that the oil pipeline will not harm the Aquifer and that the possibility of a pipeline leak or rupture is extremely remote.

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