October 1st, 2015
This morning, we learned that Enbridge has been given final OK for Leave to Open (LTO) Line 9. This comes after Enbridge reluctantly conducted three very small hydrotests to assess the condition of the pipe. The need for hydrotesting is something that we as intervenors pushed strongly for during the National Energy Board hearing.
So are we happy? – NO
The thing is, Enbridge wrote their own rules for the hydrotest. That’s right. Although a standard hydrotest is conducted by pushing water through the pipe at 125% approved pressure, Enbridge negotiated with the NEB to test at under 100%! That’s like a student who writes their own test and says “I’ll only write it if you ask me these easy questions.” Further, Enbridge analyzed the results themselves with no third party oversight!
So did Enbridge really pass the test? Is the pipeline really ready to ship heavy oil sands and volatile Bakken crude through a 1970s era pipeline with coating known to fail and that has been sitting empty for over a year while the company Band-Aid repairs the 100s of cracks, corrosion and dents?
I met with Richard Kuprewicz in New Orleans last November who stressed Line 9 was over 90% likely to rupture within the first five years of operation. (Accufacts Report)
Time will tell.
One thing is certain. Much like a student who cheats all the tests, Enbridge will have to deal with the consequences later when they realize Line 9 just isn’t up for the job.
Local Maps of Line 9 – See Here