In the speech that I presented to the NEB on October 16th, 2013, I highlighted the concentration of “features” found along a certain section of Line 9.
“On the Line 9 Communities website, I broke the local maps down into 5 mile segments and then posted the corresponding integrity data below. By publishing this information in a clear, concise and easily understood manner, I was able to provide communities along the line with some answers to their concerns. Unfortunately, the data is not the least bit reassuring. The problem is, citizens do not understand mile posts and Enbridge operations and maintenance activities do not make reference to the cities where the digs are located. To Enbridge, mile posts 1970 to 1980 represent work sites … to the public, mile posts 1970 to 1980 represent the communities between Port Hope and Cobourg.”
Since presenting to the NEB in October and post NEB conditional approval of Line 9 in March, I have continued to monitor ongoing integrity digs. The section between mile post 1970 and 1980 highlighted above has only become much worse since I reported on it 6 months ago.
These mile posts are better known as “The Dale Road” of Northumberland County. Current stats for MP 1970 – 1980 … 76 cracks, 6 dents, and 1 corrosion issue. Take a moment to consider that these stats represent over 80 integrity digs in a 10 mile segment of the pipeline.
If there are this many issues on a concentrated section of the pipeline, wouldn’t it make more sense to replace the entire 10 mile segment with the highest quality pipe and updated engineering standards of today?
What’s more, Enbridge is not required to conduct soil or water testing unless they self-report potential hydrocarbon contamination. Water is often pumped out of a dig site – untested – in order to allow workers access. In an area with this many potential problems, soil and water testing should be mandatory so that residents can be reassured that Enbridge truly cares for the communities health and well being. After all, this area is crisscrossed by numerous pipelines and quite familiar with hydrocarbon contamination. A pinhole corrosion leak from the TransNorthern pipeline (not affiliated with Enbridge) went undetected for some time before contamination migrated through farm fields and was discovered in a creek by residents. See here for an archived newspaper article of that leak.
Questionable “suspect soil” has been found on rural residential and farm properties along Line 9. All across the pipeline, residents, businesses, farm owners, and animals rely on uncompromised water sources. For individual home owners, standard well water testing does not analyze potential hydrocarbon contamination. For farmers along the pipeline, there is the risk that if soil is compromised, contaminants could find their way into the human and/or animal food chain without testing.
There are many questions to be asked and concerns to be addressed. Municipalities in Northumberland County and all along Line 9 must demand that Enbridge conduct soil and water testing during all integrity digs and fund well water testing at the resident’s request. Better yet, demand that Line 9 is replaced with a pipeline that meets present day engineering standards.
Here are a few photos I took during an afternoon drive along The Dale Rd of Northumberland County.