Tar Sands Solutions Network

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Line 9

Enbridge has proposed to pump tar sands crude through a repurposed 500-mile pipeline that currently runs westward along the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway from Montreal, Quebec to Sarnia, Ontario. Enbridge, the same company responsible for the devastating pipeline spill of one million gallons of tar sands crude into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River, wants to reverse Line 9 so it can carry tar sands crude to Montreal (and then on to a harbour and oil terminal in South Portland, Maine).

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Overview:

- An aging 500-mile natural gas pipeline that will be reversed to carry tar sands crude through Ontario and Quebec

Key Problems:

- Reversing old pipelines means risks of more leaks and spills

- Natural gas pipelines were not built to carry corrosive tar sands crude

- This leak-prone pipeline crosses dozens of major rivers and runs through major urban centers

Current Status:

- Line 9 has been approved by Canada's National Energy Board.

This pipeline runs through or close to many major urban centres, including Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, Cornwall, and Montreal, home to millions of people. It also crosses dozens of major rivers and streams that flow into the Great Lakes, a major source of drinking water. A pipeline spill anywhere along this route would have disastrous consequences.

Line 9 Updates & Resources

Line 9 reversal halted due to danger to rivers and lakes

Feature

Adam Scott | Environmental Defence - October 14th 2014

Blog Post: The National Energy Board (NEB) just rejected Enbridge’s request for permission to restart its Line 9 pipeline until further notice. It turns out that Enbridge has failed to meet one of the most important and basic safety requirements – providing proof that there are emergency shut-off valves on both sides of all major water crossings along the pipeline’s route. Looks like Enbridge is going to have some explaining to do before its plans for Line 9 can go any further.

Coast Guard: We can’t adequately respond to Great Lakes heavy oil spill

Feature

Keith Matheny | Detroit Free Press - September 11th 2014

Press Clipping: The U.S. Coast Guard and other responders are not adequately equipped or prepared for a “heavy oil” spill on the Great Lakes, according to a Coast Guard commander who is pushing for action. A major oil spill from one of the proposed tar sands pipelines could spell economic disaster for the states in the Great Lakes region, severely damaging the multibillion-dollar fishing and recreational boating industries and killing off wildlife.

Protest halts work on Enbridge pipeline in southwestern Ontario

Feature

August 6th 2014

Press Clipping: Protesters set up a blockade at an Enbridge pipeline site in southwestern Ontario on Tuesday, disrupting work on what is called Line 9. Protest spokeswoman Rachel Avery said the valve was being installed near the Thames River, which isn’t adequately protected from the risk of a spill. “We’re very concerned about the severe impacts of Line 9 on waterways, including the nearby Thames river,” Avery said.

How a town in Maine is blocking an Exxon tar-sands pipeline

Feature

Roger Drouin | Grist - July 23rd 2014

Press Clipping: Citizens trying to stop the piping of tar-sands oil through their community wore blue “Clear Skies” shirts at a city council meeting in South Portland, Maine, this week. But they might as well have been wearing boxing gloves. The small city struck a mighty blow against Canadian tar-sands extraction. “It’s been a long fight,” said resident Andy Jones after a 6-1 city council vote on Monday to approve the Clear Skies Ordinance, which will block the loading of heavy tar-sands bitumen onto tankers at the city’s port.

Energy East, Line 9 pipelines will have “insignificant” economic impact on Quebec, says report

Derek Leahy | DeSmog Canada - June 19th 2014

Press Clipping: Quebec will gain “minimal economic benefits” from west-to-east oil pipeline projects such as TransCanada’s Energy East and Enbridge’s Line 9 according to a new report released this month. Both projects would transport western Canadian oil and oilsands (also called tar sands) bitumen to refineries and ports in Quebec, but would only make a combined 0.50 per cent contribution to economic activity and 0.30 per cent to jobs in the province.

Vermont Olympians considered about climate change, tar sands pipelines

Editors - April 29th 2014

Blog Post: Four of Vermont’s most prominent athletes spoke out at Morse Farm on Monday to voice their concerns about the threats posed by climate change and tar sands fuel being transported through the state via an aging pipeline that runs from Montreal to Portland, Maine. The athletes called for Vermont to take a lead in rejecting dirty fuel sources that cause global warming pollution, and build on successes in promoting clean, renewable energy.