A major oil spill from TransCanada Corporation’s proposed Energy East pipeline would only take about 48 hours to reach Ottawa’s municipal water supply, according to a report released this week by Ecology Ottawa and the Council of Canadians.
“A spill in the Rideau River on Ottawa’s southern border would take about 48 hours for the plume to reach the nearest municipal water intake system 52 kilometres downstream,” Metro Ottawa reports, citing the study by Montreal-based Savaria Experts-Conseils Inc. “Where the pipeline crosses the Mississippi River west of Ottawa, a major spill would enter the Ottawa River and within 60 hours reach the city of Ottawa’s nearest water intake 60 kilometres downstream.”
“It in many ways confirms our worst fears,” said Ecology Ottawa Executive Director Graham Saul. “It’s a wake-up call for Ottawa-area politicians, because it puts our water in immediate danger.”
Savaria estimated a major spill would cost about $1 billion and deliver “significant hits to the region’s recreation and tourism industries,” Metro notes.