Home > Question: Who wants to know about oil spills?
February 7th, 2014
Environmental Law Centre
Question: Who wants to know about oil spills?
Answer: No one who doesn’t ask.
Here’s a little story from the CBC about their efforts to access information on a not so little pipeline explosion. In response, the National Energy Board disclosed an incident report that the article implies was altered in response to CBC’s request. The characters in this story provide some increasingly familiar views. The policy expert notes that this evidence of TransCanada’s track record was not available during the Keystone XL Pipeline review. The Aboriginal informant claims that what’s happening in the northern bush is out of sight, out of mind.
Here’s a similar story under Alberta law: Global Forest Watch requests mass disclosure of oil sand incident reports that must be made available by law. (see Environmental Incidents in Northeastern Alberta’s Bitumen Sands Region, 1996-2012). The exception to disclosure is where incidents are under investigation. The allegation is that such incidents were not returned to the database after investigations closed, meaning that the worst spills were not disclosed.