The Tar Sands are Coming to Toronto
Stop Line 9: Toronto – Click Here to Learn More and Be Informed!
Click here to download an information handout.
Enbridge has begun the process of reversing the direction of its pipeline (Line 9) between Sarnia and Montreal in order to transport their Tar Sands from Alberta to Portland, Maine for shipment around the world. Their goal is to create a third alternative to the controversial Keystone XL pipeline through the U.S. to Texas, and the Northern Gateway pipeline through the B.C. mountains to the Pacific coast.
The reversal of a section of Line 9 from Sarnia to Hamilton has been approved by the National Energy Board. And on November 29 Enbridge applied to the NEB to reverse the flow of the line from Hamilton to Montreal (through Toronto, just north of Finch Ave.).
In addition to the extensive damage to the environment caused by the Tar Sands, the transport of the raw material (“super-hot sandpaper”) is far more susceptible to pipeline breaks and damaging spills.
Not only can this toxic and corrosive mixture spread through the soil to threaten property and the water tables; it also crosses 3 major rivers leading to Lake Ontario — the source of our drinking water. It also crosses the G. Ross Lord Reservoir near Dufferin and Finch.
What Can We Do?
The route of Line 9 through Toronto has been marked (as shown) on sidewalks at all streets where the line crosses the city. (The Map on this site shows more detailed locations.)
We invite you and your organization/neighbours to choose a nearby location along the route and create a non-violent,
non-destructive event that will express your feelings about Line 9, using humour and creativity.
Our goal is to motivate all city councillors along the route to support a motion (now being prepared) at city hall to outlaw the transport of these hazardous materials across our city. (See the attached list of Wards for contact information.)
We are also publishing a Calendar listing upcoming events along the route. (In order to list your event, please send details to firstname.lastname@example.org)
In 2012 the U.S. Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) printed an excellent background report prepared by U.S. and Canadian environmental organizations. “Going in Reverse: The Tar Sands Threat to Central Canada and New England” is available at right.
What’s the Problem?
In 2011 the NRDC prepared a document called “Tar Sands Pipelines Safety Risks” which details the dangers of the Diluted Bitumen that travels through these pipelines. Included is a detailed breakdown of the chemical composition of the “DilBit”:
“DilBit contains benzene, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and n-hexane, toxins that can affect the human central nervous systems. A recent report filed by the Michigan Department of Community Health found that nearly 60 percent of individuals living in the vicinity of the Kalamazoo River spill experienced respiratory, gastrointestinal, and neurological symptoms consistent with acute exposure to benzene and other petroleum related chemicals. In addition to their short term effects, long term exposure to benzene and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons has been known to cause cancer.”
“DilBit also contains vanadium, nickel, arsenic, and other heavy metals in significantly larger quantities than occur in conventional crude. These heavy metals have a variety of toxic effects, are not biodegradable, and can accumulate in the environment to become health hazards to wildlife and people.”