I have just finished reading an editorial from Burnaby, “Pipeline safety plans are long overdue” and so I am reflecting on what is being done in Chilliwack, at present.
I am glad to hear that the work of preparing a stronger safety plan and clear emergency response language in local school emergency manuals about extreme toxic chemicals after pipeline ruptures has begun apparently, at the Transportation and Facilities level in our School District No. 33.
But after hearing Andrew Nikiforuk, economist and award winning journalist from Alberta speak about the business of pipelines, I now have much bigger concerns about probable pipe ruptures than before.
Mr. Nikiforuk stated that it is a well known fact among pipeline companies that the lifetime of a pipeline is 50 years. This TransMountain/ Kinder Morgan old line is 61 years since it was put into the ground.
In 1953, it was mostly farm country here; now we are heavily settled urban homes, schools and drinking aquifer/river systems.
When will this preparedness information be shared with our local parents of school aged children? The public deserves to know about appropriate response to the toxic chemicals that off-gas from a pipeline rupture. The public is becoming familiar with safety responses for the big earthquake. So then protection against benzine, PAH’s, hydrogen sulfide and other toxic heavy metals off-gassing from oil spills needs more public awareness right away, in my opinion. Diluted bitumen has been throbbing through the very old pipeline for quite some time already!