Your Nov. 27 article “Exactly 150 years after Sebago Lake water arrived in Portland, focus is still on keeping it clean” left out the very real threat of tar sands crude oil winding up in our water supply.

The Portland Water District, whose mandate it is to ensure the high quality of our water, rightfully takes pride in a job well done. Yet it has not informed its customers of the biggest threat to our pristine water supply, nor has it taken a position on the proposed reversal of the Portland-to-Montreal pipeline, which would carry Alberta diluted bitumen, the dirtiest oil known, through the watershed of Sebago Lake and under Jordan Bay. A rupture of the aging pipeline (which is no longer in use) would have catastrophic effects on the quality of our water for generations to come.

Since 1986, according to an analysis by Richard Stover and the Center for Biological Diversity, pipeline accidents have spilled an average of 76,000 barrels per year, a large percentage of those spills because of corrosion. How does this threat compare to the fact that it is illegal to swim within 2 miles of Sebago Lake intakes?

We need to get ahead of this threat. New York and New Jersey have denied water-quality permits for a proposed pipeline that would transport fracked gas through sensitive waterways. Maine’s water source for one out of six Mainers also needs protection from pipeline threats.

Fred Brancato

Elders for Future Generations

Portland

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