Claims that reversing the flow of oil in the Line 9 pipeline will put communities in Ontario and and Quebec at greater risk are false, Enbridge says.
The company issued a recent statement in response to statements the group Environmental Defence made in October.
“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,” Environmental Defence said in its earlier press release.
It also says tar sands oil is more corrosive to pipes and more dangerous to ship through pipelines.
Enbridge replied Friday that crude from the oil sands, also called bitumen, is processed before it’s shipped by pipeline.
“This kind of crude oil is shipped safely every day on our system and other pipeline systems across North America,” says the company.
It also says there is no evidence pipelines carrying bitumen are more susceptible to internal corrosion than those carrying other types of crude.
Line 9 was built in the 1970s and carries oil between Sarnia and Montreal. It flowed east in the beginning but the direction was reversed in 1990s to carry then lower-cost off-shore oil west.
Enbridge has already received permission to reverse the flow on the section of the pipeline between Sarnia and Imperial Oil’s Nanticoke Refinery near Westover.
The company says it plans to apply soon to reverse it the rest of the way to Montreal.
Enbridge said Friday the pipeline is expected to carry predominately light crude oil to customers in the east but shippers will have the option of shipping heavy crude oil.
The company’s statement also disputes claims that spills of bitumen are harder to clean up and represent a higher risk to human health and the environment.
“While unlikely to occur, every spill of petroleum products is unique, and Enbridge maintains the capabilities to safely and effectively respond to any incident,” it says.…