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NEWS RELEASE · 9th April 2010
ForestEthics - Smithers
Concerned Northwest BC residents are reacting to news of yet another Enbridge oil spill, this one in Manitoba where an Enbridge pipeline spilled more than 1,500 litres of crude oil this week. They say repeated spills from Enbridge pipelines demonstrate that the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline is too risky for Northwest B.C.’s salmon watersheds.

Earlier this year Enbridge had a spill of over 3,000 barrels in North Dakota and had 80 spills recorded in 2008.

“Every time we turn around Enbridge is spilling more oil,” says Nikki Skuce, Campaigner with ForestEthics. “Their claims that our wild salmon watersheds and coastline will be safe are sounding more and more absurd with each spill they report.”

Oil from yesterday’s Manitoba spill leaked into a creek near the town of Virden, and could eventually seep into the Assiniboine River.

"By oil field standards, you know, it's a small to average spill site. But there is a big difference between [a spill] on a flowing water body and on solid land," Virden Mayor Bruce Dunning told CBC yesterday.

“If this spill had happened in a similar sized waterway along the Bulkley or Copper Rivers at this time of the year, thousands of emerging salmon would be put at risk, as well as adult steelhead getting ready to spawn,” said Todd Stockner, Fishing Guide. “For angling guides and recreational anglers, an incident like this underscores the importance of protecting our waterways for our economy and lifestyle.”

Studies show Skeena River wild salmon contribute over $100 million annually to the regional economy.

“The record clearly shows that Enbridge cannot prevent oil spills from its pipelines,” said Jennifer Rice, Chair of Friends of Wild Salmon. “Given the value of wild salmon, the only reasonable solution is to keep oil pipelines out of our salmon watersheds altogether.”

This week also saw a Chevron pipeline spill 18,000 gallons of crude oil into a canal in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge southeast of New Orleans, and a Chinese coal freighter ram into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where it’s been leaking heavy engine fuel ever since.