Our Drinking Water, Wetlands and Rivers at Risk
The Alberta Clipper crosses the Mississippi River two times and 11 other major rivers at least once. An oil spill could contaminate drinking water for St. Cloud, the Twin Cities and many other communities. Toxic chemicals, including benzene, are added to tar sands oil to dilute it so that it can flow through pipelines. A modeling study of a benzene plume traveling down the Mississippi river predicted that benzene concentrations could exceed EPA allowable levels for more than 280 miles downriver of the spill. These concentrations would create serious health risks to hundreds of thousands of people.
Additional Information: “Wetland contamination can be predicted in oil boom states” 1/9/2014 “For Minnesota's pristine wetlands, North Dakota oil boom is new threat” Star Tribune 6/9/2014
A History of Spills: Between 1999 and 2008, Enbridge had over 610 spills, releasing approximately 132,000 barrels of hydrocarbons into the environment. In Minnesota, Enbridge pipelines have already spilled millions [link to Minnesota spills] of gallons of oil.
An Enbridge pipeline spilled more than a million gallons of diluted bitumen tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. When alarms sounded at Enbridge’s control center, operators increased the pressure in the pipeline for several hours, rather than closing it down. It took the company 18 hours to report the spill. After 4 years, 35 miles of the river are still contaminated and closed to recreational use, and 180,000 gallons of sludge is still underwater.
Are the profits of the pipeline companies like Enbridge[link to Enbridge] and TransCanada[link to TransCanada] worth the risk to our state’s water supply? We think not. That’s why it’s so important that we TAKE ACTION TODAY[link to take action] to prevent an increase in oil pipeline capacity and new pipelines from being built.