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Environmental Health Expert: Critical questions remain unanswered as capacity of tank farm/terminal doubles in Red Head, Saint John

No Enery East March in Red Head

Saint John, NB – TransCanada’s human health risk assessment falls short in many crucial areas, says an independent expert with over 20 years experience in health and environmental risk assessment. This warning raises new concerns about TransCanada’s announcement that it plans to double the capacity of the Red Head tank farm and terminal following the cancellation of the Cacouna terminal in Quebec.

“As the National Energy Board (NEB) panel sessions open up in Saint John, New Brunswick, many questions and concerns remain unanswered,” says Dr. Ken Froese. “Since my last report in December, TransCanada’s updated assessments still have important gaps and shortcomings that need to be addressed.”

Dr. Ken Froese is in Saint John to present findings to residents and city staff and available for interviews on Monday, August 8th and Tuesday August 9th until 4pm.

“TransCanada still has not assessed impacts in case of catastrophic events at the tank farm, has not developed remediation plans in case problems arise with odours in the neighboring community, nor have they assessed associated health impacts such as stress or economic disruptions,” says Dr. Froese.

On Monday evening, Dr. Froese will be meeting with local residents to present his findings and discuss potential impacts an Energy East pipeline spill could have on their lives.

“In light of the recent oil spill in the North Saskatchewan River that continues to deprive over 70,000 people of drinking water it is highly irresponsible of TransCanada to not properly assess and prepare for catastrophic incidents at the tank farm and marine terminal,” says Daniel Cayley-Daoust, Energy and Climate Campaigner for the Council of Canadians.

Irving Oil, which has jointly invested with TransCanada in the tank farm project, made headlines again in June for excessive amounts of potentially carcinogenic and toxic catalyst ash released in the community near its refinery between 2010 and 2015 with no proper contingencies or monitoring in place by either the company or the government.

Dr. Froese was commissioned by the Council of Canadians to provide a credible examination of TransCanada’s assessment of the human health impacts of the proposed Energy East project in Red Head, Saint John. He has worked with industry, government, First Nations, and non-governmental organizations, providing senior project direction and management, writing technical reports, appearing as an expert witness, providing courtroom testimony and serving on international peer review panels.

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For more information or to arrange interviews with Ken Froese please contact:
Daniel Cayley-Daoust, Energy and Climate Campaigner, The Council of Canadians
ddaoust@canadians.org, Cell: (819) 593-4579


Questions raised in Environmental Health in Red Head: The Energy East Project:

  • An addendum to Volume 6 (Accidents and Malfunctions) of the Application was referred to in the Health section. Has TC completed such an assessment?  What is the scope of that assessment?  Does it include reasonable worst-case scenarios for the Saint John oil storage tanks and marine terminal?
  • Why was the Alberta guideline for benzene used rather than the more stringent Ontario guideline? This question remains outstanding, as a discussion was not found in the updated documents regarding this issue.
  • Currently, a monitoring program related to human health concerns is considered unnecessary because the effects assessment concludes there will be no risks of health effects. The company should discuss their anticipated response to future community or individual concerns.  As a starting point, CASA’s guide11 offers various tools for tracking odour character and health symptoms, prevention and mitigation, and on-going odour assessment tools.

His updated report, Environmental Health in Red Head: The Energy East Project, can be found here