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Winnipeg chapter supported report says Energy East threatens Winnipeg’s drinking water

Photo: LeNeveu at today's media conference.

LeNeveu at today’s media conference.

A report authored by Dennis LeNeveu, a retired biophysicist who worked for the federal Crown corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, says that the Energy East pipeline threatens the drinking water of more than 60 per cent of Manitoba residents. The report was released by a Manitoba-based coalition in which the Council of Canadians Winnipeg chapter is a key member.

The Canadian Press reports, “The report by the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition said a rupture on the proposed Energy East pipeline would seep into any number of waterways which feed into Winnipeg’s water supply. …Part of the line would run underneath an aqueduct carrying Winnipeg’s drinking water from Shoal Lake near the Ontario boundary. …The entire length of Winnipeg’s aqueduct would be in danger of contamination from the nearby pipeline, LeNeveu said. …[Other communities would also be vulnerable given many] draw their water from rivers that would intersect with the proposed pipeline, he said.”

The CBC adds, “[The coalition says the pipeline] poses a threat to Winnipeg’s water supply because it crosses waterways and is within ‘spill reach’ of the channels used to transport the city’s water. The report said a spill ‘will occur in the future’ and ‘any breach of the line near Winnipeg could reach the Red River via the LaSalle, Seine or Assiniboine River drainage basins’.”

And the Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition website highlights, “According to the City of Winnipeg’s National Energy Board [NEB] intervenor application, which is posted on the NEB website, the pipeline would traverse two metres under the Winnipeg Aqueduct, which is made out of porous concrete. The City also acknowledges there is no way to stop a spill into the aqueduct from contaminating the Deacon Reservoir [just outside the city where Winnipeg’s drinking water is treated].”

LeNeveu says, “Winnipeg has much to lose from the pipeline crossing within its boundaries and little to gain.”

To read his 48-page report Potential Impacts of the Energy East Pipeline on The City of Winnipeg, please click here.

To watch an 18-minute video of this morning’s media conference – which took place outside at the Forks, where the Red River meets the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg – please click here.

The Council of Canadians recently held a public forum in Winnipeg in opposition to the Energy East pipeline and also visited Shoal Lake.

For more on our campaign against Energy East, please click here.