Skip to Content

Équiterre reacts to announcement concerning size of oil spill in Lac-Mégantic

5.7 million litres: a disaster beyond our worst fears

Montreal, July 23, 2013 - Late yesterday, Quebec’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks issued a press release announcing that the total amount of oil spilled during the derailment in Lac-Mégantic is estimated to be about 5.7 million litres.

“If this amount is confirmed, this will be the worst oil spill to have ever taken place in North America, except for offshore spills such as the Deepwater Horizon accident in 2010,” says Steven Guilbeault, Senior Director of Équiterre.

Moreover, over 50 environmental, labour and social justice organizations throughout Quebec and Canada are calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to introduce tighter rules for the transportation of oil.

“The solution to our dependence on oil will not be found simply by debating which method of oil transportation is best; instead, we need to look at measures through which we can reduce this dependence,” says Steven Guilbeault. Furthermore, according to a recent Harris-Decima poll, Canadians strongly believe that the country needs a climate and energy strategy that reduces fossil fuel dependence and promotes a greener economy. Fully 87% of those surveyed supported this view.

Équiterre would also like to point out that, even though an oil spill of 5.7 million litres is a massive amount, pipeline company Enbridge has spilled an average of 1.9 million litres of oil annually between 2007 and 2012 in North America.


Diane Croteau