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South Niagara & Hamilton chapters oppose Line 10 pipeline tree-cutting now underway

Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter activist Kathie Clark spoke against the Line 10 pipeline at this rally on October 18, 2016. Photos by Ute Schmid Jones and Pete Dako.

The Council of Canadians has been opposing the tripling of the existing 63,000 barrel per day Enbridge Line 10 heavy crude pipeline since November 2015.

As noted on the Calgary-based transnational Enbridge corporation website, “Line 10 is a 143-kilometre export pipeline that carries oil from Enbridge’s Westover Terminal in Hamilton, Ontario to West Seneca, a suburb of Buffalo, New York. From there, the oil travels via the Kiantone Pipeline to Warren, Pennsylvania, where it is refined into gasoline, diesel, propane, butane, asphalt and other petroleum products.”

While the pipeline is 143 kilometres in length, the company is reportedly doing the pipeline expansion in segments given projects less than 40 kilometres in length are exmpted from a federal environemntal assessment (even though the overall route would cross approximately 64 watercourses and impact 13 wetlands).

Media reports years ago had indicated that Enbridge wanted to begin construction in 2017 with the pipeline to be in service in 2018.

Now, Hamilton-based Citizens at City Hall (CATCH) reports, “Thousands of trees are being cut down across rural Hamilton to make way for the controversial expansion of the Enbridge Line 10 oil export pipeline… City bylaws don’t require tree cutting permits outside the urban boundary where almost all the pipeline work is taking place. …The [National Energy Board] acknowledged that 13 wetlands (including 12 that are provincially significant) will be impacted by the project. The city tree conservation bylaw specifically blocks cutting where ‘stream or wetland functions, including flood or erosion control or drainage processes, will be negatively impacted’ but again the bylaw does not apply outside the urban area.”

The article adds, “Enbridge crews are currently bulldozing land at more than twenty-five spots between Nebo Road on the east mountain and the company’s pipeline hub in the Flamborough hamlet of Westover. The project will replace 35 kilometres of 12-inch pipe with a new 20-inch pipe capable of carrying three times as much of the heavy crude that Enbridge exports to the United States.”

Council of Canadians South Niagara chapter activist Fiona McMurran says, “The spur line cuts across the Niagara Peninsula, crossing waterways and farmlands, and wetlands — and Enbridge has managed to duck out of an environmental assessment!! No wonder the Trudeau government hasn’t restored protections to 99% of our waterways. We need to mobilize people to protest this!”