When answering questions after a March 7th Conservation Hamilton presentation, Enbridge representatives said that hypothetically, Line 9 could be twinned in the future … but that would require a new NEB application. The term “twinning” means that the company would lay another pipeline right beside the existing pipeline, considering they already have approval for the Right Of Way (ROW).
During a March 25th Whitby Operations Committee meeting, Enbridge presenters were questioned about the integrity of Line 9. Specifically, they were asked whether the company would be willing to replace the 38 year old pipeline with a new state of the art system in order to dispel any concerns about the questionable condition of Line 9. Simply answered … No. They then added, “plenty of people at Enbridge would love to replace the line and increase the capacity, but that would include major construction”. It would also cost more money to replace the line, so community safety will have to take the back seat.
Oil pipelines are no longer wrapped in polyethylene tape as it has been well documented that the tape has a tendency to dis-bond from the pipe, allowing water to contact the metal and increase the likelihood of external corrosion. The aging Line 9 is wrapped in this tape.
Before the product flows through Line 9, it must first be transported through Line 6B (2010 Kalamazoo spill), or line 5. Both of these lines are currently being replaced with larger pipes in order to increase capacity. Line 9 connects with these pipelines in Sarnia. Can we be re-assured that the extra product heading for Sarnia will stay there? Or should our communities expect to become the oil pipeline corridor of the future?
Enbridge currently has numerous applications filed with the NEB to expand it’s connections with the Alberta Oil Sands. From replacing the existing Line 2 ($117M) and Line 3 ($60M) to expanding the Edmonton terminal ($800M) and preparing to apply for a new pipeline to connect Athabasca Oil Corp’s planned Hangingstone project to it’s regional pipeline network ($200M) … it’s clear that Line 9 is only one piece of a mega project to ship Oil Sands east. After all, Line 9 is the ONLY Enbridge pipeline serving the ports of Montreal. AND Line 9 conveniently connects with the Montreal-Portland pipeline which crosses the border to access the Atlantic Ocean at Portland, Maine.
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