By Kevin Woodhouse
Representatives from the Vaudreuil-Soulanges regional municipality and Enbridge met last week to discuss concerns over safety response in the event of a catastrophe should the 9B pipeline get the government’s clearance to begin the reverse flow, with a decision on the pipeline’s future slated for late January at the earliest. Officials from the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges have expressed concerns that safety and other recommendations made by the political body have not been taken into account by the government.
In a recent press release, the MRC noted that the government has not adequately “implicated the municipalities” in the decision making process. Enbridge spokesperson Eric Prud’homme told The Suburban that “in the unlikely event of an incident, our primary role is to secure the perimeter as we have the team, training and equipment as our security provisions start when we build a pipeline.”
Prud’homme acknowledged that municipalities affected by the upcoming pipeline, and in the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges, four towns will be directly implicated with the pipeline going through their community: Pointe Fortune, Rigaud, Ste. Justine de Newton and Très St. Rédempteur.
“We have heard from municipalities that want more information and want to be part of the security protocols,” Prud’homme said. “The concern from mayors is understandable and there will be ongoing discussions and meetings about first responders, environmental factors and next we will create working committees to address all concerns.”
Prud’homme outlined some of the security and pre-planning Enbridge has done that include multiple safety scenarios for rivers, wind speed, forest type and fauna habitats. And while the company tries to be as forthcoming as possible, Prud’homme admitted that for security reasons, public meetings will not get the same amount of detail afforded first responders training in the pipeline.
“We have a lot of safety protocols as well as scenarios,” said Prud’homme. “For instance, if pressure drops in the pipeline, protocols are in place.”
In the event of “an anomaly in a valve like the manual one in Ste. Justine de Newton, it would be shut and then inspected.”
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