The Canadian government’s new $1 billion limit on liability for any pipeline operator involved in an oil spill is an improvement over past rules, but falls far short of what a major cleanup would cost, critics say. Enbridge’s 2010 bitumen spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan has already exceeded $1 billion in clean-up costs, and pipeline safety specialist Nathan Lemphers said a similar spill along the route of the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline would likely cost much more. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association said the change in liability formalizes the polluter-pay principle to which its members already adhere. (Hmm. A nice, new definition of polluter-pay?)
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