The Rainbow Spill: A Case of Crime and (No) Punishment

Publication - April 24, 2013
The 2011 Rainbow pipeline spill near the Lubicon Cree community of Little Buffalo was one of the largest in Alberta’s history. No charges were laid by the provincial government or the regulator, in spite of an investigation that found that the crack that caused the leak should have been detected and that the pipeline company restarted the leaking pipeline three times over an 8 hour period because it prioritized profits over safety. This report uses confidential internal government documents obtained by Greenpeace Canada under Freedom of Information legislation to look at what was happening behind the scenes. It shows how the Alberta government puts the oil company interests ahead of protecting local communities or the environment, and makes recommendations for change.

Update: 24 hours after an advance copy of this report was sent to the Alberta government, the Environment Minister laid charges against the pipeline company Plains Midstream in connection to this spill.


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Internal government documents obtained by Greenpeace under Alberta's Freedom of Information legislation: