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Stop closing St. Lawrence Seaway so late

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The danger of extending the navigation season on the St. Lawrence Seaway was much apparent over the holidays.

Luckily, the cargo vessel grounded on the rocks off Cape Vincent did not suffer an oil leak. What if it had?

Our weather has been less than hospitable this winter. Cleanup would have been difficult, to say the least.

After it was refloated, the damaged vessel remained in the Seaway past the closing date, and according to a Times report, “ice was the culprit for more than 20 other delays.” Why was Dec. 30 established as the closing date for Seaway traffic? Isn’t that too late?

Based on information published by the Seaway Development Corp. in its annual traffic reports, the average closing date was Dec. 24 during the 1980s, Dec. 26 in the 1990s and Dec. 28 for the first decade of the new millennium. So far this decade, the dates have been Dec. 29 and 30. Am I the only one who sees a creep?

Accidents on the Seaway can and do happen. The worst-case scenario is a petroleum spill at the very end of the season when remediation cannot be accomplished effectively.

Is this what we want to happen? Traffic planning for the Seaway should not be based on wishful thinking. A beautiful heritage and delicate ecology are at stake.

Glenn Harris

Lisbon

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