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NEWS: Concerns raised about Sarnia-Portland tar sands pipeline

The Sarnia Observer reports, “(Pipeline giant) Enbridge has applied to the National Energy Board to reverse the (24,000 barrel per day) flow of Line 9 which current flows west from Westover (near Hamilton) to Sarnia (in southern Ontario). If the change is granted the line will flow east from Sarnia into Westover.” The concern is that this is the first step toward using that pipeline to ship tar sands bitumen from Canada across Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and then into Portland, Oregon. The Bangor Daily News explains, “To do this, Enbridge would need to reverse oil flow between Westover and Montreal as well as between Montreal and Portland.” Critics have highlighted that the Montreal-Portland pipeline passes near Sebago Lake and over the Androscoggin River in Portland.

The groups raising these concerns with the National Energy Board – Environmental Defense, Pembina Institute, Equiterre, Vermont Natural Resources Council and Natural Resources Council of Maine – state that this is a revival of Enbridge’s Trailbreaker project, which would have moved bitumen from Alberta on Line 9 to Sarnia (notably, located on Lake Huron) to the Hamilton-area (on Lake Ontario), to Montreal (on the St. Lawrence Seaway, the gateway of the Great Lakes), then on an existing 236-mile underground pipeline between Montreal to Portland. From Portland, the bitumen would be loaded onto tankers and shipped along the eastern US coast and down to the Gulf of Mexico to refineries in Texas.

For more on this, please go to the Vermont Natural Resources Council website at http://www.vnrc.org/current-issues/tar-sands-letter-sent-to-canadian-regulators/.