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The National Energy Board launches Energy East hearings while more than 800 questions are still unanswered

Montreal, June 16th 2016 - Équiterre denounced today the begining of the hearings of the National Energy Board (NEB) on TransCanada's Energy East pipeline project while more than 800 questions are still unanswered, including how the pipeline will cross the St-Lawrence and Ottawa rivers. Furthermore, the NEB still hasn't heard back from the company regarding its own request on the integrity of the pipeline. Équiterre reiterated that this project would transport more than 1 million barils a day of oil, largely from the tar sands, throughout communities across the Prairies and Eastern Canada.

"I simply cannot undertsand how the NEB can conclude that Energy East's application is complete while so much crucial information is missing" declared Sidney Ribaux, director general of Équiterre. "There really seems to be a double standard here; when we've participated in the evaluation of renewable energy projects such as a wind energy, we know exactly the location of each of the wind turbines, where the access roads will be, which species could be impacted... And now, we're confronted with North America's biggest pipeline project and the application is full of holes!"

"The NEB is about to witness to magnitude of opposition to this project" declared Steven Guilbeault, senior director of Équiterre. "This opposition includes more than 300 municipalities across Quebec including all of the mayors from the Greater Montreal Community, the Assembly of First Nations for Quebec and Labrador, the Quebec Farmers Union, more than 170 local and grassroot groups and many social and environmental organisations. We strongly believe that this project simply doesn't pass the test of social acceptance".

Équiterre is also worried about the overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project (30 millions tonnes of CO2) and the risks of spills threatening the freshwater reserves of millions of people in Eastern Canada.

Furthermore, TransCanada's plans to export 150 000 barils of oil per day from a port in Quebec would represent a significant increase in oil tanker traffic on the St-Lawrence River, an important risk to marine mammals living in the river.

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For more informations:
Dale Robertson, medias relations, Équiterre
514-605-2000, drobertson@equiterre.org