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Enbridge wants to reverse its Line 9 oil pipeline, an aging pipeline that crosses southern Ontario and Quebec. For the first time ever, more dangerous tar sands oil could flow eastward for export through the most densely populated parts of Canada. Compared to normal oil, tar sands oil is more likely to cause a pipeline leak, more hazardous to human health, and harder to cleanup when it spills.
Line 9 runs through 115 communities, including Toronto, Sarnia, Hamilton, London, Kingston and Montreal. It crosses dozens of major rivers draining into Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, putting the drinking water of millions of Canadians at risk of an oil spill.
Enbridge has a poor safety record. A 2010 Enbridge oil spill dumped 3 million litres of tar sands oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River.
In spite of the risks, the Line 9 project is exempt from a full environmental assessment. Without one, we are left in the dark about the possible impacts of the project on our drinking water, health and farmland.
Join the growing list of concerned Canadians calling for a full environmental assessment and public hearings into this risky project.
Send a letter now to Federal Minister of the Environment Peter Kent and Ontario Environment Minister Jim Bradley demanding a full, public environmental assessment of Enbridge’s Line 9 proposal.
Hon. Peter Kent & Hon. James Bradley
I am writing to seek a full environmental assessment for Enbridge’s proposed Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project. This major project poses considerable new risks not present in the previous life of Line 9, requiring a more comprehensive review than the N.E.B. review process can provide.
The project is more than a reversal of direction. It involves an increase in capacity, and a significant change in what will be shipped through the pipeline. For the first time, more dangerous tar sands oil could be sent through Line 9. This is likely part of a larger plan to export diluted bitumen from Alberta’s tar sands through eastern Canada to the U.S. Atlantic coast for export.
Tar sands ‘dilbit’, raw bitumen diluted with condensate, is more corrosive to pipelines than conventional oil. And in the event of a spill, it’s more hazardous to human health and harder to cleanup.
Only a full environmental assessment can illuminate the project’s risks to the public and the environment. A spill into any of the major rivers Line 9 crosses could contaminate the drinking water of Ontarians and cause permanent damage to ecosystems. Enbridge’s poor track record on pipeline safety warrants a review of their safety and emergency response plans, as well as the physical integrity of the pipeline.
The proposal could also increase global warming pollution at a time when major reductions are urgently needed.
Canadians need to know the risks of this project. A full environmental assessment is the only way to prevent an accident before it’s too late.