The Quebec Federation of Municipalities, representing more than 1,000 communities and 3.8 million people across the province, has declared itself against the Energy East pipeline.
In a resolution adopted unanimously at its June 1-2 board meeting, the federation also calls on TransCanada Corporation to put aside a $5-billion emergency fund “to respond to eventual disasters caused by its pipeline.”
It indicates that it will stand against the project “in the absence of a credible organization that replaces the National Energy Board, with a mandate to regulate and study new pipeline projects.”
The municipalities also insist that TransCanada develop a plan to “protect every drinking water source that might be placed at risk by a pipeline failure.”
The intent of the motion is “to ensure that municipalities don’t have to pick up the clean-up costs associated with a diluted bitumen spill on their territory,” Le Devoir reports. “Energy East will cross many of their boundaries along its 625-kilometre route through Quebec.”
TransCanada spokesperson Tim Duboyce responded that federal regulations “require a developer to demonstrate financial capacity to cover the costs of an incident. Otherwise, it loses the right to develop a pipeline.” He added that contingency measures for Energy East are still taking shape, but “our goal is never to have to activate those emergency plans, by investing in the integrity and safety of our pipelines.”