Recently I was in Kitimat for church business and, having some time to spare, I made my way to the City Centre Mall.
I stumbled upon the office of Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Ltd. The door was locked so I gazed in the window when suddenly a young lady appeared, unlocked the door and invited me in for a tour.
She was very gracious and kind allowing me the freedom to walk around and look at the various items on display. As I was looking and walking around the office she spoke to me about the proposed project. Having undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder, I wasn’t paying much attention to the details but was more interested in the display items.
The first thing that caught my attention was a two-foot long sample tow rope. (I was once a tree climber, so I take great interest in ropes!)
As I was looking around at the other display items and she was speaking about the proposed project, I addressed one of the topics she brought up – the transport of oil down the Douglas Channel.
I said to her: “most people I talk to are concerned with oil being transported down the channel.” She assured me that Enbridge is doing their best to prevent a spill by mandating double hull vessels.
Satisfied with her answer I asked about the transport of oil from the tar sands to Kitimat concerned about the pipeline being ruptured by mountain slides, etc.
After all, snow accumulation in the Kitimat Valley can reach heights of twenty to thirty feet.
Again she assured me that Enbridge will have road accessibility twelve months a year along the pipeline route and that a fiber optic sensor will be in the pipe line and in the “unlikely” event of a rupture, the sensor will alert an office person in Edmonton to shut down the line. (I hope that office person does not have the same problem I have!)
Somewhat satisfied and not really wanting to be cantankerous and not wanting to listen anymore, I wandered over to several small containers of sample oil displayed on a shelf that caught my attention.
There were three sealed containers, two black containers and one that looked like pure water. I asked about this latter one and she gave some answer that I didn’t hear as I was more interested in the other two containers.
One was black but runny and a third one that was very black, thick, and mucky.
My ADD was getting the best of me. I reached for the thick mucky one as that, she explained, was a sample of the oil that would be transported through the pipe.
I took the thick black mucky one, only to discover that it was leaking all over the shelf. That’s how I knew it was mucky and yucky.
As I held it up in full view of the nice lady who gave me the tour, I said: “Enbridge can’t even keep this two ounce sealed container from leaking.”
So ended my tour of the office of Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines office in the City Centre Mall of Kitimat.
Father Terry Brock,