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Friday, February 01, 2013 by Lyndsey Easton

February 1 2013: Kalamazoo River oil spill survivor speaks at Enbridge hearing



Northern Gateway (Enbridge)

Kalamazoo River spill survivor testifies at Vancouver Enbridge hearings Freelance photographer Michelle BarlondSmith was living with her husband in a trailer park along the Kalamazoo River in July, 2010 when an Enbridge pipeline burst, leaking 3.3 million litres of diluted bitumen into the water. “My home sat less than 200 feet from the oil, and I was told I would be bought out and taken care of,” she testified in front of the Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel in Vancouver on Wednesday. “I walked away from my home last year, and I testified before U.S. Congress. I was told I would be made whole. Trust me when I say, you will never be made whole.” BarlondSmith, who described herself not as an environmentalist but as an “accidental activist”, said she travelled all the way from Michigan to speak at the hearings because she believes Canadians need to know the human costs of an oil spill.

CN's crude oil-by-rail plan increases risk of spills, fatalities, say opponents Vancouver Sun, CP. Opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline are threatening to turn their sights on CN Rail, as at least one Alberta oil company explores the possibility of transporting oilsands crude to the B.C. coast by rail car. Sixteen environmental groups signed a letter sent to Canadian National CEO Claude Mongeau this week to express opposition to any plans to ship product from the Alberta oilsands west by rail. "Unfortunately, ... there are far greater fatality, injury and environmental risks when transporting crude oil by rail than by pipeline," the letter said. It cites a study last year by the Manhattan Institute, a right-leaning American think-tank that has endorsed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast after comparing the safety and accident statistics of rail, road and pipelines. "The industry itself acknowledges that trains have nearly three times the number of spills as pipelines (which provides little comfort given Enbridge's oil spill record)," the letter said.


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