Stop Glossing Over Alberta's Oil Spills: Launch Full Independent Investigation

  • by: Susan V
  • target: Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen
The latest Alberta pipeline leak spilled nearly half a million liters of oil into the Red Deer River, some washing into Gleniffer reservoir, a source of drinking water for many. The spill is the worst in a string of leaks.

Forced to evacuate, several families could do nothing as their ancestral homes were ruined. They also suffered injuries to their health from the fumes.

But damage control expert Stephen Bart has claimed the spill’s been contained, the water’s fine to drink, there’s no toxic fumes and the pipelines should last indefinitely. 

Responding to Bart, however, environmental experts say It’s “atrocious” for PM to claim pipelines built in 1966 would “last indefinitely."

They warn that the ‘s “extremely aging pipelines” present “an ongoing risk to our environment and to communities throughout this province," and they're calling for an independent investigation.

Tell Alberta to launch a full independent investigation into its aging pipelines and frequent spills.

We, the undersigned, believe the high incidence of oil spills in Alberta warrant a full independent investigation.

Hudema of Greenpeace points out that Alberta had three times the number of spills Saskatchewan had last year, which itself had 200 total, which is nothing to brag about. 

Hudema also notes that Saskatchewan's auditor general Bonnie Lysyk found that 25 per cent of its pipes are 40 years old, the same age as the one that broke near Sundre, Alberta, and she told CTV Edmonton that the “…aging pipelines would naturally increase the risk that there is a potential leak or an explosion.”

Green Party’s Elizabeth May says the upcoming environmental bill will do nothing to ensure pipeline safety, and the main concern is that the Harper government has a mindset of protecting the oil industry to the detriment of  the environment and people like the Johnstons.

We agree with Hudema that it’s absurd for Plains Midstream to pretend that pipe age in not an issue or that the pipes should last indefinitely. And other denials by PM, including insisting the spill created no toxic fumes, certainly supports the need for an independent investigation into this company and its frequent oil spills. It should be forced to properly repair or replace its pipelines, end this pollution and stop misrepresenting the impact of its spills.

We appreciate your prompt and serious attention to these requests.

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