There will be a public meeting at 5 o’clock this Wednesday at The Preston Auditorium at 5 p.m. hosted by Enbridge.
I’m really hoping that lots of people get out to this meeting and ask Enbridge the questions that simply beg asking. We are the largest region on this section of pipeline (Line 9). Our pipes are of the same age and materials as those of the Kalamazoo River, running through Michigan. The Kalamazoo region has still not been cleaned properly even 18 months after that spill. Enbridge’s failure to respond promptly and its lack of concern with remediation has already given us the best indicator of what we will be dealing with, should this line rupture in our region. The Kalamazoo spill, and hundreds of others, should be all the motivation we need to get serious about this issue. For more information, I suggest you view the report by the National Resources Defense Council by following this link:
Enbridge is coming here to offer an information session about its proposal to reverse flow of Line 9. At present, Line 9 flows from Westover Station to Sarnia. Their plan is to reverse the flow, sending the crude from Sarnia back to Westover and eventually to Montreal. If they stay their course, they plan to send it all the way to the Atlantic for shipment to Eastern markets. Their plan is deceitful in that it’s all just really about getting the Trailbreaker project under the radars. They know this places Ontario’s energy security at risk along with the obvious environmental problems that are going to occur.
Reversing this line also means that flows into Sarnia’s refineries will be reduced to Lines 6A and 6B, both of which have been shut down because of ruptures in recent years. Line 9 is already very problematic because it’s covered in a single layer polyethylene tape, the same coating used on both the problematic Lines 6A and 6B. Enbridge cannot be treated like some good and decent corporate citizen just bringing the best for our community. That’s insane.
I propose that everyone come with a list of questions that includes those posted here. At the meeting, if every one can only ask one, all questions should get put forward. We need answers and we should press upon them fully to obtain them. With respect to the line reversal, the questions I want answered are:
– Will this increase the amount of tar sands crude being shipped through the pipeline?
– Will it increase the amount of bitumen processed in Ontario?
– Has Enbridge modeled the impacts of a spill into the Grand River?
– Will Enbridge provide its annual pipeline inspection reports?
– Are there any weak spots in the pipeline near Cambridge?
– There has been a lot of talk about this being part of a bigger project to move tar sands to Montreal and down to Portland, Maine. When will Enbridge be applying for the other parts of the project? If not now, why are there already discussions going on about it with refineries in the US?
Let’s make sure these guys are held accountable and demand from them the transparency to which we have a clear right.
most people that have an Interest in this issue are most likely still working or are on their way home at 5. Do you think they planned it that way?
Sometimes it can seem that way. Your thoughts were mine when I first saw the notice and time stated. But it’s always better to come a little later, than not at all. Since it was scheduled to run until 8, folks should have been able to attend at that time.
The meeting went pretty much as I expected – no big surprises. I’ll give a report on it once I get my notes together and gather some from our two interns who also attended. Huge KUDOS to Daryl who got there early, stayed to the end, and acted perfectly professional for the duration.
Hi Sue, looking forward to reading the details of the meeting.
It was an interesting meeting, for what it was. I’ve spent most of today trying to get all the information I need in order to make any decent report on this. Once the interns get their stuff over to me, I’ll finish this up and post right away. I will be meeting with Environment Defense on Monday and will have more info to post following that as well. Hopefully, I will have all the information I need before that meeting. Crossing fingers. 🙂
Below you will see an email just received from Environmental Defence. Anyone interested in participating in the process can follow the link provide for more information. I’m just waiting to hear from Scot on this to confirm the Citizen’s follow ups.
Today is the deadline to apply to the NEB to be an intervenor in the hearings. Being an intervenor means you get to ask Enbridge questions on the record that they need to answer, submit evidence and participate in the hearings. It can be very detailed involvement, or less so. I’d suggest you consider applying today so that you have the option, and maybe pass this along to the concerned farmers as well.
It’s fairly simple to apply, and individuals as well as organizations can do it. you just need to fill out the online form:
Scot has applied for Intervenor Status of the Cambridge Citizen on the suggestion of the EDC. I have passed along the information to the concerned farmers through their lawyers. The Citizen should continue with this matter and keep everyone informed as it progresses.
Damaged pipe caused small leak
Updated: Wednesday, 15 Feb 2012, 11:21 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 15 Feb 2012, 10:32 PM EST
STERLING, Mich. (WOOD) – A damaged pipe has caused another Enbridge oil incident in Michigan.
A leak was found near Sterling in a pipeline that runs north through the eastern part of the state to the Upper Peninsula.
An Enbridge Energy spokesperson said that crews found the leak after discovering oil contamination in the soil on Tuesday.
Enbridge is the same company responsible for the massive oil spill in Marshall in the summer of 2010 that dumped tons of oil into Tallmadge Creek, which runs into the Kalamazoo River. Crews are still in West Michigan cleaning up that spill.
The most recent Sterling spill is much smaller, Enbridge said, and is expected to be cleaned up by Wednesday night.
Pipeliners Require PR Patchwork After Latest Spill
February 16, 2012 at 10:53:49 EST by G. Joel Chury
Send in the landmen! A news report coming out of Michigan this morning points to an apparent leak from an Enbridge (TSX:ENB) pipeline near the community of Sterling, located approximately 150km northeast of Lansing, Michigan. The report says that crews found the leak after discovering oil in the soil, and that cleanup at the site is expected to be swift.
The timing of the incident doesn’t help the cause for Enbridge, who is entrenched in a legal battle against mounting opposition from landowners, native groups and independently funded eco groups, both fringe and more established. While proceedings are taking place in multiple courtrooms, Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline hangs in the balance as the company attempts to broaden Canada’s marketplace for Alberta oil, including transshipment to Asia.
So far, 2012 has put a lot of pressure on the Calgary-based pipeline company both from the public, and from the federal government. More than 4300 individuals are scheduled to air their grievances in court against Enbridge’s Northern Gateway plans during the two-year window currently given to deliberate the validity of the project, which should keep the company’s hands and lawyers’ pocketbooks full. Meanwhile, as it’s ensconced in its legal battle, Enbridge is also facing the pressure from the expectations of an impatient Steven Harper, who just returned from China having made bold statements vowing that the pipeline would indeed be built. Now, with a pipeline leak, albeit a small and easily handled one, this doesn’t help the cause.
The fact of the matter is that Enbridge is an established company with the business acumen to fight its own battles. With every pipeline comes opposition. Whether it’s from landowners who don’t want anything in their backyard, or it’s pesky swamp land that’s impossible to cross, or it’s interest groups sticking their noses into other people’s business in order to appease their donors, there’s always something that can get in the way of pipelines.
But yesterday, a Post Media article pointed out how Enbridge felt that federal departments were asking for too much information and pushing the approval process at an “unrealistically fast” pace, according to a newly released Environment Canada briefing material. It’s not that Enbridge wants the timelines to be extended, it’s just that the government needs to work with them, not against them if it wants to meet Harper’s expectations, but it has raised concern that the government is asking for more technical information and project design details than the company is ready to provide so far.
Meanwhile the costs keep running up. It has been estimated that Enbridge is spending $300 million to prepare its case for regulatory approval alone, so it’s fair to see why the company doesn’t want to spend millions more on additional work like detailed route plans until the project is officially approved.
What needs to be understood from everyone is that these things take time. Let it play out, without putting arbitrary timelines on at every angle. It’s either going too fast, or it’s going too slow, but someone is always going to be unhappy with the process. Speediness breeds haphazard practices, and the last thing that Enbridge needs is to have this major project installed sloppily. A leak anywhere along the line of the Northern Gateway will not be tolerated and dealt with as easily as the leak in Michigan today, so let the diligent work that’s required be allowed to proceed unfettered, and let’s get this show on the road.
Thanks for sharing this, Sandra. If you follow my Facebook page or Twitter account, you’ll see all the news on Enbridge for the past few years. This is the same pipeline that runs to Sarnia. This line has experienced so many problems in the past few years. I don’t know where Scot plans on going with Enbridge in the Citizen. But I’m aligned with many top dog groups, so I’ll be in the loop as I have been for years. This problem will only grow. It will never get better.
One problem I raised with the National Energy Board is the fact that technology and resources for extraction, delivery (pipelines), refining and shipping are all outpacing those for prevention, safety and cleanups. Obviously, that can’t work.
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