Pipeline safety expert finds “high risk of Line 9 rupture” if National Energy Board approves Enbridge’s reversal plan: Coalition of environmental groups call for rejection
Montreal and Toronto – Evidence submitted last week to the National Energy Board (NEB) regarding Enbridge’s application to reverse its Line 9 oil pipeline through Quebec and Ontario raised new concerns about the safety of the project and the high risk of an oil spill.
International pipeline safety expert, Richard Kuprewicz, concluded that:
- There is a high risk that Line 9 will rupture in the early years following project implementation due a combination of cracking and corrosion.
- Enbridge’s approach to pipeline safety management for this pipeline will not prevent rupture under the operating conditions resulting from the implementation of the project.
- Should a rupture occur, Enbridge’s leak detection system and emergency response plans are inadequate. It would take up to four hours for emergency response in the Greater Toronto and Montreal areas. The response times are inadequate for the many high consequence areas (defined as highly populated areas, other populated areas, drinking water resources, environmentally sensitive areas, and commercially navigable waterways) located along Line 9.
- The implementation of this project would involve a substantial risk of major economic damage and disruption – and potential loss of life. This is especially true in Toronto and Montreal, where the pipeline runs parallel to or crosses key urban infrastructure and could threaten the drinking water supply.
- Due to Line 9B’s extraordinary proximity to people, water and economic activity, the rupture costs of the project vary from significant to catastrophic. Given the high risk of rupture, the expected project cost also varies from significant to catastrophic.
- Based on an evaluation of economic costs and benefits, the potential economic costs could exceed the potential economic benefits.