Enbridge Human Health Risk Expert Provides Unreliable Testimony

Smithers, BC, March 5, 2013 – During cross examination, Mr. Dennis Yee, Enbridge’s expert witness on the potential human health effects of a pipeline spill, admitted that he had provided inaccurate information about his background and qualifications. The cross-examination by Dr. Josette Wier, an independent intervenor, uncovered that Enbridge's expert had listed a publication that had never occurred. In his resume, Mr. Yee had claimed as his most recent publication a 1997 article that was “in press”. It is only after Dr. Wier questioned him about it during her cross-examination on February 28, that he admitted that his last claimed publication supposedly taking place 16 years ago, in fact never was published.

Dr. Wier had been concerned about Mr. Yee’s “expert” qualifications since he has not presented any peer-review scientific publication in the last 16 yrs, and his academic background is limited to a M.Sc. degree in biology. Dr. Wier expressed her reservations to the Joint Review Panel (JRP) on February 12, 2013. However, the JRP ruled they were satisfied with his professional experience. Now, in testimony, Mr. Yee has admitted that even the claim of a 1997 publication was inaccurate, even though he had just sworn to the accuracy of his resume prior to the beginning of cross-examination, as well as on two prior occasions during the JRP proceedings.

According to Dr. Wier, “including misinformation in his resume which on three occasions he had sworn to as accurate shows a plain lack of credibility.”

In addition to the obvious lack of qualifications of its expert, Enbridge’s submission to the JRP of its Human Health Risk Assessment from Oil Spills in fact contains no description whatsoever of the human health effects that might arise from such a spill. According to Dr. Wier, this demonstrates that Enbridge/Northern Gateway simply does not care about the risks to people living near their proposed pipelines.


For more information contact:

Josette Wier at 250 8478743 or by e-mail at josettecp@bulkley.net

5 Issues/yr — $25 print; $15 digital