TORONTO, ON - Enbridge's real plan for Line 9 was revealed
yesterday in a document filed with the National Energy
Board (NEB), which shows Enbridge plans not only to reverse
the flow of oil through the pipeline to Montreal, but also
to change what the pipeline can carry from normal oil to
more dangerous tar sands oil, and dramatically expand the
amount of oil carried by the pipeline.
"We've been concerned for months Enbridge is planning to
ship more risky tar sands oil across Canada's most
populated region, but the company repeatedly denied that
was its intention," said Adam Scott of Environmental
Defence. "Enbridge's plan could put the drinking water of
millions of people at risk of a tar sands oil spill, all in
the name of exporting more raw tar sands oil south."
Tar sands oil is more corrosive to pipes and more dangerous
to ship through pipelines, putting water and farmland along
Line 9's route at greater risk of oil spills. When tar
sands oil spills, it is much harder and more costly to
clean up than conventional oil, and it causes more damage
to human and environmental health. Line 9 crosses major
rivers in Ontario like the Rouge, Humber, Grand and Rideau,
all of which feed into Lake Ontario, putting the drinking
water for millions of people at risk of pollution.
In the spring, public hearings were held in Ontario into
"Phase 1" of the Line 9 reversal from Sarnia to Hamilton.
At the time, Enbridge repeatedly claimed the oil sent
through the reversed pipeline would be light crude oil, or
normal oil, and the NEB failed to consider increased risk
of oil spills if raw tar sands oil were shipped instead. In
the document released yesterday, Enbridge confirmed it will
ask permission to change what goes through the pipeline to
allow heavy crude, which can include tar sands oil.
Enbridge's plan to increase the volume of oil shipped
through Line 9 to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) suggests
this is about exporting raw oil, not domestic refining
jobs. The amount Line 9 could carry is more than double the
amount currently refined in Montreal each day.
Recently obtained Freedom of Information documents revealed
that Canadian diplomatic officials have been lobbying the
Maine government on tar sands, likely setting the stage for
a reversal of the pipeline from Montreal to Portland,
"The public has been kept in the dark about the full scale
of Enbridge's plans all along. Given the company's track
record of oil spills and failure to come clean about its
plans, why should the Canadian public trust them now?"
Environmental Defence recently discovered that the Line 9
pipeline is dangerously exposed to the elements where it
crosses the Rouge River, increasing the risk of a spill for
Rouge Park and the nearby community.
For a map of Line 9: http://environmentaldefence.ca/issues/tar-sands/line-9
For a factsheet on Line 9:
About Environmental Defence (www.environmentaldefence.ca):
Environmental Defence is Canada's most effective
environmental action organization. We challenge, and
inspire change in government, business and people to ensure
a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
For more information or to arrange an interview, please
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext.
258; 416-570-2878 (cell) firstname.lastname@example.org