Drift Card Study
How far could oil travel if it leaked from the Energy East pipeline?
TransCanada wants to build the longest tar sands pipeline ever. If built, Energy East will cross nearly 3,000 lakes, rivers, and streams. But what will happen if (or when) Energy East springs a leak? How much risk is there to the 5 million people who depend directly on those waterways for their drinking water? Where would the oil end up?
TransCanada doesn’t know and isn’t doing the research to find out. So Environmental Defence is working with Ecology Ottawa, Transition Initiative Kenora and The Conservation Council of New Brunswick to do this important research.
The study is fairly simple: we float wood drift cards in three of the major water systems that the Energy East pipeline will intersect – The Bay of Fundy, Lake of the Woods/Winnipeg River and the Ottawa River watershed. These wood cards then drift along natural currents, just as spilled oil might. When someone finds a drift card, they log where and when it was found, and we combine this information over time to learn how an oil spill from Energy East might spread, and where oil might accumulate.