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Energy East could leak 16,400 barrels per day for two weeks without detection

The McGill Daily reports, “An independent study commissioned by the D’Autray Regional County Municipality (MRC) has found that the environmental impacts of the Energy East pipeline are far more significant than initially portrayed by TransCanada. According to the report, minor leaks could result in 16,400 barrels of oil spilling every day for up to 2 weeks without detection.” The MRC de D’Autray is located about 80 kilometres east of Montreal. It’s situated on the St. Lawrence River across from Sorel-Tracy.

The news report notes, “The study, conducted by J. Harvey & Associates Consulting and ÉCOgestion Solutions, analyzed the environmental assessment administered by TransCanada that was submitted to the National Energy Board. According to the authors of the study, these assessments are often incomplete and present generalized and overly optimistic perspectives on the impacts of the pipeline.”

“The assessment by TransCanada discussed its risk mitigation techniques, which, according to Tim Duboyce, a spokesperson for the company, included, ‘regular aerial surveillance and frequent inspections from our field teams who physically walk along the pipeline route’. This point was criticized by the authors of the independent study, who said that the time lapse between inspections is what would allow minor oil leaks to flow freely for days without detection, causing severe harm to the sensitive bogs in D’Autray.”

Bruno Tremblay, Deputy Director General of Planning and Inspection at MRC de D’Autray, says, “The MRC will make the study available to all Quebec municipalities so they can have this information. Moreover, the MRC will appear before the National Energy Board to assert its opposition to the project. We hope that the BAPE [Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement, Quebec’s office of public hearings on the environment] is conducting a study on this pipeline project.”

On February 4, the MRC’s municipal body voted to oppose the Energy East pipeline.

Further reading
Energy East could leak 2.6 million litres per day undetected (January 2015 blog by Mark Calzavara)
Where Oil Meets Water: Energy East an unacceptable risk to waterways (August 2014 report)