This is an update of a December 2015 review by Dr. Ken Froese of TransCanada’s Human Health Risk Assessment since the company announced it was doubling the size of its tank farm in Saint John and updated its assessment. Gaps remain.
Dr. Froese identifies three key environmental health issues:
- Holistic impacts on health and community wellbeing are not evaluated for pipeline spill or marine spill scenarios. The current approach to environmental impact assessments is a poor model for addressing non-toxicological health impacts, for example risk perception, stress, sense of place, lifestyle and economic disruptions, and community resilience.
- Catastrophic events such as tank failures, explosions or fire at the storage tank farm have not been discussed or modeled with respect to human health. Potential toxicological and non-toxicological health impacts to downwind and downslope residences, for example, Anthony’s Cove, should be identified and assessed. Modeling such scenarios from an individual and community perspective can enhance emergency planning and response related to possible events at the tank farm.
- Odour potential from fugitive emissions at the tank farm and related infrastructure should be evaluated more thoroughly. Odours and odour-related health issues are complex. Community concerns may be attenuated with commitment by TransCanada to meaningfully address any future issues.
Dr. Ken Froese is an independent expert with more than 20 years experience in health and environmental risk assessment.