Activists turned off Enbridge’s Line 9 oil pipeline today by shutting a valve in the town of Ste-Justine-de-Newton on the Québec-Ontario border.
To watch a video of the action: https://twitter.com/stimulator/status/673894408446713857
From the press release issued by the activists:
“It is unacceptable that Enbridge can go forward with the Line 9B flow reversal while communities along the route have not received the necessary contingency plans in the event of an emergency,” said Jean Léger, community member from the Lower Laurentians. “Considering the state of the pipeline, and the corrosive nature of bitumen, we know that a spill is inevitable and would impact the drinking water and farmland of millions of people in Ontario and Quebec.”
According to Bloomberg news, Enbridge’s forty year old pipeline “Line 9” began pumping crude oil from Sarnia to Montreal earlier last week. Line 9 passes through 99 towns and cities and 14 Indigenous communities in Ontario and Quebec.
A pipeline safety expert with over forty years of experience in the energy sector, Richard Kuprewicz, has stated that the probability of Line 9 rupturing is over 90% in the first five years of operation. This is due to the large number of fractures in the aging pipeline and the fact that Line 9 will carry various different kinds of crude- including diluted bitumen- which adds additional stresses to the pipeline.
The Council of Canadians has grave concerns about the likelihood of Line 9 rupturing and the consequences of a diluted bitumen spill in the heart of the Great Lakes region. In July 2010, Enbridge’s Line 6 in Michigan ruptured, spilling millions of litres of diluted bitumen from the tar sands into the Kalamazoo River system. After five years and more than $1.5 billion dollars in cleanup costs, the river is still significantly polluted and Enbridge argues that further cleanup will do more harm than good- essentially admitting that tar sands oil cannot be effectively cleaned up in the case of a spill.
The Chippewas of the Thames First Nation plan to appeal the National Energy Board’s approval of Enbridge’s Line 9 pipeline at the Supreme Court this month due to the lack of free, prior and informed consent to the pipeline reversal.
Council of Canadians chapters in London, Hamilton, Guelph, Peel, Toronto, Peterborough and Northumberland have also taken direct action against the reversal of Line 9.