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River crossings by the Energy East Oil Pipeline project: a complete list of threatened rivers is now available and the Order of Engineers is called upon to intervene

Oléoduc énergie Est

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Montreal, June 12, 2015 – TransCanada's Energy East project would cross 70 rivers, 185 streams and the St. Lawrence River, for a total of 256 watercourses. This list, as well as that of the 69 municipalities affected and the 17 watershed organizations involved, was produced from maps and detailed information presented on the website of the Commission for the Protection of the Agricultural Territory of Quebec (CPTAQ) at www.cptaq.gouv.qc.ca. This complete inventory is now available to everyone.

The CPTAQ website presents, in the TransCanada Pipelines – Énergie Est Oil Project section, numerous details on the agricultural territories affected, as well as the list of municipalities with information for each of them, thus demonstrating that the file is moving forward. this side. There are many details: names and addresses of affected owners, land areas, resolutions from municipalities and MRCs ruling on the project, etc. It is a wealth of information for citizens and organizations looking for local information.

The Fondation Rivières, for its part, called on the Order of Engineers of Quebec to examine the quality of the report produced in March 2015 by the firm Golder Associates Ltd on the subject of hydrotechnical risks. Only engineers recognized by the Order of Engineers of Quebec are qualified to produce such expert reports. However, the cited authors are not members of the Order and several other reports appear to be non-compliant with Quebec requirements. The Foundation incidentally noticed the absence of information regarding the risks of dam failure and erosion that could be caused by the works, as well as the use of thousand-year floods instead of century-old floods, as is now often considered with climate change. .

On the other hand, the announcement made on June 8 by Minister Heurtel to mandate the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment to evaluate the project under section 6.3 is only a smoke screen, because it is only a question of consultations and the government thus renounces its powers of control over the project:

6.3. The Bureau's functions are to investigate any question relating to the quality of the environment submitted to it by the Minister and to report to the latter its findings as well as the analysis it has made.

The mandate should have been given under article 31.1 which requires that the procedure for examining environmental impacts be followed and which provides that the government of Quebec issues a certificate of authorization before the work begins:

 31.1. No one may undertake construction, work, activity or operation or carry out work according to a plan or program, in the cases provided for by government regulation, without following the procedure for evaluating and examining the impacts on the environment. environment provided for in this section and obtain a certificate of authorization from the government.

We understand that the BAPE will only serve as an advisory tool for the Government of Quebec to develop an opinion regarding the Federal National Energy Board. Quebec thus abdicates its full powers on several environmental issues.

Gold, " the issues linked to river construction are multiple and exceptional safety measures are necessary given the risks and consequences that a pipe break would have. » indicates Geneviève Marquis, vice-president of Fondation Rivières, specialist in hydrology and sedimentary and morphological dynamics of watercourses. “ A BAPE duly mandated as part of the regulatory procedure for evaluating and examining environmental impacts would have required the promoter to submit its construction methods, answer questions from the public and improve the decision-making of the Quebec government regarding the construction methods to be used » she specifies.

Fondation Rivières completed the missing information on the CPTAQ website using maps provided by TransCanada[1]. The Fondation Rivières list does not count intermittent watercourses (notably ditches), so the total number of watercourses crossed is less than that announced by TransCanada Pipelines.

The Energy East pipeline would cross Quebec for more than 700 kilometers to transport 1.1 million barrels (175 million liters) of oil from Alberta's tar sands.  

The list of 256 rivers and 69 municipalities is available here. [1]

Application relating to Project Energy East. Volume 6: Maps, 2014 [2] Energy East Pipeline Project – Volume 2: Assessment of biophysical effects – Part D: Quebec – Section 4: Surface water resources

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For informations :

Alain Saladzius
President
514 924-2013
presidency@fondationrivieres.org

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Photo: Daniel Acker, Bloomberg Archive

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