As anticipated, National Energy Board okays Enbridge’s partial reversal of Line 9 in Ontario - next step, Quebec
Montreal, July 30, 2012 – Equiterre was disappointed by the decision issued late last Friday night, allowing Enbridge to reverse the flow of oil in the section of the Line 9 pipeline between Sarnia and Westover, Ontario. Equiterre, along with other Canadian and American environmental groups, participated in the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings on this project.
“A few weeks ago, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board severely reprimanded Enbridge for the largest inland oil spill in the history of the United States in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 2010. Just this last Friday, Enbridge spilled another nearly 1200 barrels of crude oil into a Wisconsin field. But the NEB refused to hear reason, and endorsed the section reversal without even studying the potential impacts of a tar sands crude spill on Canadian soil,” explained Steven Guilbeault, deputy executive director of Equiterre.
Enbridge first launched the Trailbreaker project – which would transport crude oil from the tar sands to Montreal and the Port of Portland in Maine – in 2008. It has raised the ire of residents and environmental organizations across eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. According to a June 2012 report, Going in Reverse, by the National Resources Defense Council, the Line 9 reversal project represents a significant spill risk. In 2009, the entire project was put on hold due to the economic slowdown. Last year, Enbridge presented a modified bid to the NEB, which would reverse the flow of the section of the pipeline in Ontario, purportedly to transport light crude oil. Equiterre joined forces with other groups to convince the NEB that this was Trailbreaker broken into smaller projects. Unfortunately, the NEB decided otherwise, leaving the pathway open to the transport of tar sands crude.
Equiterre is asking the government of Quebec to be extremely vigilant, to show leadership, and to take into account the will of the people regarding Enbridge’s plans to reverse the flow of oil through Quebec.
Loïc Dehoux, Equiterre