The Root Word: ForestEthics Blog

ForestEthics Advocacy reacts: Scathing report from US Transportation Board on Enbridge’s Kalamazoo oil spill

Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy Campaigner, says report shows Enbridge can’t be trusted to build Northern Gateway
Jul 10, 2012

Smithers, BC - The conclusion from the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report on Enbridge’s handling of the Kalamazoo River oil spill was too little, too late. The 2010 spill devastated south-central Michigan's Kalamazoo Watershed with tar sands crude. Despite the defect that led to the rupture of the pipeline being identified in 2005, nothing was done to address the risk until over 3 million litres spilled into the river. Enbridge also took more than 17 hours to respond to the rupture once an alarm was activated. 

“How can we trust Enbridge to build two pipelines safely across nearly 800 rivers and streams in Alberta and British Columbia?”, said Nikki Skuce, ForestEthics Advocacy Senior Energy Campaigner. “This company can not be trusted with our wild salmon rivers.”

The NTSB report concludes that the company’s closest responder was 10 hours away and positioned with only a small trailer to respond. Enbridge’s Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline proposal would cross remote, avalanche-prone terrain with difficult access to the route.

“Enbridge has the audacity to tell us that our coast will be safe with their oil supertankers traveling the treacherous waters of the northwest coast – this from a company who can’t even turn off a pipeline for 17 hours after an alarm goes off.”

“Enbridge is a company of ‘too little, too late’ – whether in responding to warnings about infrastructure corrosion, responding to oil spill alarm systems, or trying to gain social license across new proposals. The risks are too high for Northern Gateway and Enbridge is a company that can not be trusted to mitigate them.”

Nikki Skuce of ForestEthics Advocacy

By Nikki Skuce, Senior Energy Campaigner, ForestEthics Advocacy

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