"Enbridge Can't Say If Federal Cuts Would Undermine Oil Spill Response"

"OTTAWA — Alberta-based Enbridge can't say what impact millions of dollars in cuts to federal environmental emergency staff would have on its oil-spill response plan for the Northern Gateway pipeline project, even though the plan relies partly on federal help if a spill were to occur."

"Enbridge identified the Environment Canada unit as part of its emergency response plan in March 2011, before the Harper government's 2012 budget eliminated regional jobs and funding for the team that responds to environmental accidents and disasters.

'Environment Canada is recognized as the federal authority for environmental advice during a pollution incident,' said Enbridge in the oil spill response plan. 'Environment Canada and appropriate provincial representatives (i.e., British Columbia Ministry of Environment or Alberta Environment) co-chair the regional environmental emergencies team (REET).'

Enbridge highlighted its 2011 document last week in response to questions from Postmedia News about internal federal records that revealed various government departments had raised safety concerns about the proposed pipeline project in 2010 and warned that it had an 'insufficient' oil spill response plan along sensitive areas on its 1,200 km route from Edmonton to Kitimat, on the British Columbia coast."

Mike De Souza reports for Postmedia News June 27, 2012.

Thursday, June 28, 2012