Massive Pipeline Spill Sickens Residents
NWF Says Health Impacts a Glaring Hole, Needs Study
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Area residents report smelling noxious fumes and falling ill; schools have closed for several days. Similar health effects were reported by residents living near the Michigan spill. The Rainbow pipeline spill comes during the second round of environmental review by the U.S. State Department of a massive tar sands pipeline known as Keystone XL. The negative health reports challenge Keystone XL pipeline builder TransCanada’s assertion that tar sands are no more harmful than conventional oil.
A joint press release from an area school principal, the chief of the Lubicon Free Nation and others asserts, "Little Buffalo community members, including school children, continue to experience nausea, burning eyes and headaches." It was also reported that at least four beavers and 10 waterfowl were euthanized after they were found covered in oil.
Jim Lyon, senior vice president of National Wildlife Federation said:
"No U.S. government agency or independent medical source has adequately studied the risks of tar sands to human health and wildlife. This is a glaring hole in the State Department’s assessment of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and one more reason to do additional study before Americans are forced to put this ticking time bomb under their land."
A March report from conservation groups concluded the diluted bitumen (dilbit) is "a highly corrosive, acidic, and potentially unstable blend of thick raw bitumen and volatile natural gas liquid condensate." An April New York Times editorial echoed this point, which was dismissed by TransCanada, who in a response said "oil is oil."
Cross posted from blog.nwf.org