Rail Disaster Strategy Lacking

Letter to the Editor, March 16, 2015

Re: Rail disaster plan falls short, critics warn

The Star investigation into the risks of railway transport is appreciated. One would hope that a rail disaster plan would be far more comprehensive than just compensation for damages. A rail disaster strategy should include an actual plan to save lives and the environment.

It is impossible to compensate lost lives and damaged environment from highly toxic damaging crude oil and radioactive substances that are being transported. Diluted bitumen is extremely hard to clean up as it sinks deep into the surrounding area. Bakken oil is highly explosive. A radioactive spill would have grave and long-term consequences.

It is not desirable to have railways transporting these through dense urban settings but it is also not desirable to have them transported through indigenous and other communities.

Transporting crude oil through pipelines has all the same risks. It is just more hidden from view.

Line 9, which is intended to carry crude oil from the tarsands, crosses major waterways and watersheds that feed into Lake Ontario. It has a high risk of spillage with the potential to contaminate our drinking water and cause severe damage to the environment.

There can also be no compensation when the planet becomes uninhabitable from climate change as a result of increased greenhouse emissions from projects like the tarsands.

Miriam Garfinkle