Our Questions to Enbridge re Line 9

As an intervenor in the National Energy Board hearings of the reversal (etc.) of Line 9, we get to ask questions which Enbridge is required to answer. On June 10, DurhamCLEAR sent them the following list of questions:


DC gets Intervenor Status AND Funding

DC has been granted Intervenor status for the National Energy Board hearings on Line 9 and has been granted funding in the amount of $23,500.

Much of this will go to pay our lawyer, Lloyd Greenspoon, a prominent environmental lawyer whose offices are in Sunderland(N of Port Perry)

The remaining funding will cover travel (the NEB has not indicated yet where the oral hearings will,be held) and for a series of public meetings we are planning to gather people's views and concerns about this project.

407 ETR Extension - A step in the wrong direction

CLICK HERE for a slide show of pictures taken by Jayden along the path of the West Link (Hwy 407 to 401 just east of Lakeridge Rd.)
This article was contributed by Jayden Rae who is a Whitby high school student and the President of the Whitby Environmental Youth Alliance.
If you live in Durham Region, you have surely driven past the destruction resulting from the 407 ETR East Extension project and felt a sadness come over you. Hundreds, thousands, of trees including Butternut Trees that are considered an endangered species, are being chopped down for the construction of the West Link alone. However, this is just one of the impacts of this project and just a few other concerns include; 
  • The loss of healthy habitats that are abundant of life including species included under the endangered species act such as; Trumpeter Swans, Blanding’s Turtles, Barn Swallows and Redside Dace. The North Link in particular is destroying some of Whitby’s  last woodlots which have already experienced a steep decline due to urban sprawl. 
  • The West Link crosses over 7 waterways and the full 407 extension traverses almost a hundred more. These wetlands are the base of Durham’s ecosystems that feed Lake Ontario, act as filters for our water, reduce pollution and are vital to spawning fish.

Nebraskans out in force to oppose Keystone XL pipeline

We're not the only ones fighting dirty oil.

Last Thursday when we were finalizing our 'applications' to have our opinions heard on Line 9, more than a thousand people were at a meeting in Grand Island, Neb. to tell the State Department what they think of plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The meeting went on for 8 hours. Each speaker was given 3 minutes.

There has also been more than 807,000 written submissions and they're still coming in.

DurhamCLEAR applies for intervenor status at NEB hearings into Line 9

April 19, 2013

DurhamCLEAR submitted an application today for intervenor status in connection with Enbridge's application to:

  • reverse its Line9 pipeline so that it carries oil from Sarnia to Montreal.
  • increase its capacity from 240,000 barrels a day to 300,000
  • permit the transport of diluted bitumen from the tar sands in Alberta

Since the pipeline already exists, the National Energy Board has severely narrowed the field of comment to exclude any discussion about the source or the end product.

Neverthe there are many issues to consider:

  • is a 35 year old pipe capable of safely transporting higher volumes of oil
  • what are the implications of a spill of dilbit, and what protections will the NEB require if they allow it

For the full application it is filed here: https://www.neb-one.gc.ca/ll-eng/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=945386

DurhamCLEAR will be applying for intervenor funding.

Duffin Creek Outfall Update

NEB hearing process announced - Public Info session Tues Apr. 9

The terms for participation in the National Energy Board hearings have just been announced.

You have to apply even if you only want to write a letter of any kind concerning Line 9. The application (here) is 10 pages long. The full document which provides explanations is here. You have less than 2 weeks, until April 19th, to submit your application

The NEB has agreed to hold an info session in Durham. This is strictly about process but as you can see from below the NEB has made the process an issue in itself:

Tuesday, April 9, 7pm
Ajax Town Hall - Council Chambers

click here for more info

Applications to participate may be submitted electronically through the NEB website but must be in pdf format. 

Your application does not guarantee that they will hear you:

the following is extracted from: (http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/pblcprtcptn/pblchrng/pblchrng-eng...)

the Board will hear from the people who stand to be directly impacted by a proposed project, and may hear from those who have information and expertise that could help the hearing panel gain a greater understanding of a given matter under consideration.

The changes to the Act are intended to promote fairness and efficiency by ensuring Board hearings can take place in a timely manner.

Undemocratic rules create barrier to public participation in upcoming pipeline hearings

The following is derived from a press release sent out jointly on April 5, 2013 by Environmental Defence and Greenpeace

New undemocratic rules are creating a barrier to public participation in upcoming National Energy Board (NEB) hearings into the proposal for Enbridge’s Line 9 oil pipeline. For the first time, members of the public who want to send a letter with comments to the NEB about a pipeline project must first apply for permission to participate – by filling out a 10-page form that includes a request for a resume and references. 

This problematic new process stems from federal Bill C-38 – the omnibus budget bill last spring that gutted federal environmental laws. Enbridge’s proposal for its Line 9 pipeline could allow dangerous tar sands oil to be shipped east through an aging pipeline that crosses some of the most heavily populated parts of Ontario and Quebec. This is the first new pipeline proposal to be up for approval since Bill C-38 passed last year.

“The new rules are undemocratic. They attempt to restrict the public’s participation in these hearings and prevent a real dialogue about the environmental impacts of the Line 9 pipeline project,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “Canadians should not have to apply for permission to have their voices heard on projects that carry serious risks to their communities.”

National Energy Board holding Public Information Session in Durham

The National Energy Board has heard our request for a public information session here in Durham.

For something more readable, click here and download the pdf file.

Update on the Duffin Creek Sewage Plant Outfall

February 21 - Joint meeting of Finance & Administration, Health & Social Services, Planning & Economic Development, and Works Committee

  • Regional Environmental Commissioner John Presta gave a PowerPoint presentation to Council about the Phase II report on the Outfall EA which showed a clear preference for 'duckbill diffusers' which would simply spread the effluent a little wider in order to achieve slightly better dilutions. The information presented made tertiary treatment appear very expensive with the highest carbon footprint. The report itself was not presented.
  • DC president Doug Anderson also made a 5 minute presentation dealing with the outfall and sewage in generalities. He indicated the preferred solution would be one which actually removed phosphorus, hence, tertiary treatment.
  • In spite of the sketchy information, the Joint Committee (virtually all members of Council) approved the report.

Subsequently, when the report was released, it became clear that the Powerpoint presentation had left out significant details, most important was the range of tertiary treatment options - including:

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