Concerns expressed about major projects’ effects on Fredericton
STEPHEN LLEWELLYN THE DAILY GLEANER
Local environmental activist Mark D’Arcy is asking Fredericton city council to get involved in several projects close to the capital that may have an impact on climate change.
D’Arcy appeared before the city’s public safety and environment committee Tuesday and asked the city to send a letter to TransCanada Corp. requesting a public meeting in Fredericton about the proposed Energy East pipeline.
He also asked the city to do the same thing in a letter to Northcliff Resources Ltd. about the proposed Sisson Brook mining project. In addition, D’Arcy urged the city to go on the record and say that used fracking water would never be treated in Fredericton’s waste water treatment system.
“The Energy East pipeline would be the largest oil pipeline in North America”he said. “Citizens need to be properly informed about the public health and safety implications .”
D’Arcy said citizens have the right to know:
• if TransCanada will post a bond to cover any damages from pipeline spills,
• what chemicals will be used to dilute the bitumen in the pipeline;
• if a computer model would be created to analyze the impact of a spill here on the city’s drinking water aquifer; • if dispersants would be allowed in cleanups;
• if the pipeline would allow the oilsands to be tripled in size;
• if such an increase in size would require the use of more train cars to move oil;
• if First Nations would be consulted; and
• if the pipeline would affect Canada’s ability to hit its greenhouse gas targets.
He said Quebec, Ontario and several First Nations groups are already on the record with opposition to the pipeline that will delay or even block the project.
That means the pipeline company has plenty of time to hold a meeting in Fredericton, said D’Arcy. He also wants to know if the city has been offered any promises or money by TransCanada. D’Arcy asked to be able to present his requests directly to council rather than just before the committee. But Coun. John MacDermid said the committee could send D’Arcy’s request to council and made a motion to that effect. Deputy Mayor Eric Megarity seconded the motion and it passed. But he also said that while he supports protecting the environment,society can’t stop all development. “You’ve got to have a plan to kick-start the economy,”said Megarity. Coun. Greg Ericson said as far as he knows TransCanada hasn’t offered or promised anything to Fredericton.