Experts Concerned Over Safety Risks Associated with Carbon Capture

Over the last few years, there have been several incidents due to carbon dioxide pipeline failings. As a result, the people affected were lying in the streets, struggling to breathe. Carbon dioxide displaces oxygen, which is needed in the environment for gas-powered cars to work. Without oxygen, vehicles wouldn’t run.

Carbon dioxide pipelines are an important part of the Canadian federal government’s carbon capture plans. These pipelines prevent greenhouse gas emissions from reaching the atmosphere by transporting them to an underground storage. Several carbon capture projects are being planned out or are already in operation. As carbon dioxide pipelines expand in order to reduce emissions, experts warn of the health risks that come with carbon dioxide management.

In Canada, there are currently no official regulations for carbon dioxide pipelines at the federal or provincial levels. The “Canada Energy Regulator” regulates pipelines that cross provincial or international borders using a standard called CSA Z662. The pipelines are also similarly regulated in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan. Unfortunately, trust in Alberta’s provincial regulator has fallen this year due to news that the Alberta Energy Regulator and Imperial Oil knew of a tailings leak at the company’s Kearl site and failed to communicate the risk to the country.

Jason MacLean, a professor at the University of Saskatchewan, mentions that aside from the health risks associated with the pipelines, it is apparent from climate science that fossil fuels must be phased out to prevent global warming from reaching a 1.5 degrees Celsius increase. Canada needs official regulations for carbon dioxide pipelines.

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