08/13/2015 12:07 EDT | Updated 08/13/2016 05:59 EDT

Energy East Pipeline's Risks Outweigh Benefits, Ontario Energy Board Says

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TORONTO — The Ontario Energy Board says there is an imbalance in the environmental and economic risks of the Energy East pipeline project and the expected benefits.

The board says its primary concerns are about pipeline safety and the impact on lakes, rivers and drinking water in the event of an oil spill, and wants it routed away from environmentally sensitive areas.

It says Ontario residents are also concerned about the impact on natural gas supplies and prices when the pipeline is converted to carry oil.

TransCanada Corp. (TSX:TRP) is planning to build the pipeline at an estimated cost of $12 billion and growing to bring Alberta oil to ports in New Brunswick.

For two-thirds of the way, TransCanada hopes to convert a natural gas pipeline for oil and then build all new pipe thought Quebec and New Brunswick.

The energy board's report will form the basis of the Ontario government's position at the National Energy Board's hearings into the pipeline project.

It follows 15 months of consultations with people living in communities along the proposed route of the pipeline in Ontario, and recommends TransCanada engage residents throughout construction and operation of the project.

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