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NEWS: Toronto seeks standing at NEB hearings on Line 9 pipeline

Map by Gerry Dunn

Toronto City Council has waded into the debate over the reversal of the Enbridge Line 9 pipeline.

The Toronto Star reports, “Toronto council wants a say in a proposal to pipe western Canadian oil – including oil sands crude – through the city. A report from city lawyers warns that a study by local conservation authorities shows a bad spill could threaten the city’s drinking water and air. On Thursday, city council authorized the city’s legal staff to take part in hearings on the proposal to pump more oil through the pipeline. The line crosses every major watercourse in the city, and a city report notes that a pipeline break ‘is a potential threat to City of Toronto water treatment plant intakes’.”

“The company needs clearance from the National Energy Board to reverse the remainder of the line; the board is now preparing for hearings. In a report to council, city solicitor Anna Kinastowksi says she has already written to the board ‘to preserve the City of Toronto’s rights to participate in the proceedings’. …Toronto legal staff have talked to conservation staff and to city officials in Hamilton, Burlington, Ajax, Mississauga and Kingston about the line, Kinastowski says in her report. ‘These groups have unanswered questions and concerns’, she wrote.”

The article notes, “The line could either transport conventional crude or ‘dilbit’, which is oil sands crude, diluted with solvents so it can pass through the pipeline more easily.”

The motion to City Council was brought forward by Ward 8 City Councillor Anthony Perruzza (the attached map shows that the pipeline goes through his ward). The City Solicitor will report again to Toronto City Council on this issue on July 16-17.

For more, please read:
NEWS: Harper government backs west-to-east pipeline proposals
VIDEO: Maude Barlow speaks about Line 9 at public forum in Toronto
UPDATE: Council of Canadians to hold public discussion on Line 9, Dec. 12 in Ottawa
NEWS: Study says pipelines threaten Toronto-area drinking water