Enbridge Line 9 Reversal, Incinerator, Expanded Duffin Creek Outfall

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There is a new tar sands pipeline in town and it goes right through Durham

Click here for the pipeline route through Durham - pdf file

Unlike the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline in British Colombia and the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline in the US, the Line 9 pipeline already exists. For over thirty years Line 9 has pumped conventional oil from Montreal through southern Quebec and southern Ontario to oil refineries in Sarnia, Ontario. Enbridge (operator of Line 9 and the company behind the Northern Gateway project) wants to reverse the flow of Line 9 (i.e.. flow from Sarnia to Montreal) so tar sands crude can be sent to Montreal. From Montreal, it looks like the plans are to pipe tar sands crude through Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine to be exported by tanker from Portland, Maine. Plans for the Montreal-Portland pipeline are conditional on the Line 9 reversal being approved. And that's why Americans are not a big fan of Line 9 either.

Ontario (as well as Quebec) both have a chance and a choice in regards to Line 9. Ontarians could choose to throw their arms up in the air and say "what you gonna do?" The pipeline already exists so there is no way to stop its construction.  The vast majority of tar sands crude in Line 9 will be exported so Ontarians can take some comfort in the fact that they will not be filling up their cars with "dirty oil" from the tar sands.

Expanded Outfall from the Duffins Creek Sewage Plant

Access the Regions' Phase 2 EA Draft Report HERE

The Duffins Creek sewage plant (illustrated at right, officially known as the York-Durham Water Pollution Control Plant) is located on the shores of Lake Ontario on the Pickering side of the Ajax-Pickering border. It is one of the largest in Canada. It is at the end of the 'Big Pipe' from York Region. It currently dumps about 340 million litres a day (mL/d) of effluent into the lake. 80% of this is from York Region. All waste receives secondary treatment which means that while it may look clean, it still contains a lot of nutrient chemicals. When testing reveals that phosphorus levels are too high, then and only then, does the plant apply tertiary chemical treatment to reduce the phosphorus to 'acceptable' levels.

For an explanation of sewage treatment, click here for an excellent slide show entitled 'Waste Water 101' prepared by York region, which explains the terminology and processes. It is quite a large file, so it may take a minute or so to load.

More study ordered by Minister on Duffins Creek Sewage Outfall

More than two years after the regions submitted their environmental assessment to the province for duckbill diffusers on the outfall pipe, the Minister has issued his response - not a victory, but definitely not a defeat.

The minister has ordered the Regions (Durham & York - the proponents) to do more studies.

Specifically the Regions are to engage an independent waste water expert to prepare a "Phosphorus Reduction Action Plan Study"

The Ministry appears to have accepted the evidence that the excess Cladophora on Ajax's waterfront is at least partially due to phosphorus from the sewage plant and is looking for a plan to reduce it.

The study is to include "a determination of the feasibility of achieving a permanent (or ongoing) annual average concentration of 0.35 mgms per litre of total phosphorus in the WPCP effluent, as well as a total load of 190 Kgm per day based on an annual average."

Currently the plant is discharging at about 0.5 mgms per litre and and a maximum load of 311 kgm per day, so the reduction is not huge but the study will include:

a study of new methods that could be employed to reduse phosphorus in the WPCP effluent; and

the determination of an option that will result in the lowest achievable level ,of total phosphorus levels in effluent, including an assessment of thre operating implications of, and the modifications and costs required to achieve such reductions

Small inexpensive PM2.5 device developed in Japan

Scientists develop inexpensive mini PM 2.5 measuring gadget

August 06, 2015

By AYAKO TSUKIDATE/ Staff Writer

Researchers at Nagoya University have teamed with Panasonic Corp. to develop a small low-cost device that can detect and measure levels of PM 2.5 fine particulate pollutants, which have been a scourge in the skies over China and Japan in recent years.

Unveiled Aug. 5, the device will cost several thousands of yen (tens of dollars) to produce. Panasonic plans to install the device on air cleaners to go on sale in September.

The device was developed by a team led by Yutaka Matsumi, a professor of environmental studies at the university’s Solar-Terrestrial Environment Laboratory.

"We will be able to detect and measure pollutants by installing the device in various locations in a city," Matsumi said. "We hope the devices will reveal the everyday things that are acting as a source of pollution and help people deal with the health effects."

Councils from all five affected Durham municipalities unanimously approve motions urging EA on Line 9

As of March 24th, all five lakefront communities in Durham (the ones that Line 9 passes through) have approved motions calling on the province to require a proper environmental assessment on Line 9, and in addition, asking that the pipeline be upgraded over a reasonable time period to 3/8" thickness rather than the current 1/4" That constitutes 97% of the existing pipe.

These motions were urged on the Councils by DurhamCLEAR president, Doug Anderson, who made delegations to all of them.

NEB fulfills expectations - approves Line 9 with a few reasonably good conditions

As most people expected, The National Energy Board issued its decision on Mar. 6 in which it gave Enbridge most of what it asked for. It gave approval to all 3 of Enbridge's 'asks'

Why the Province should require a provincial Environmental Assessment on Line 9

Now that the national Energy Board has all but ignored the suggested conditions that Ontario laid done in its submission on Line 9, the province should move forward on requiring a provincial EA.

DC asking all lakefront communities to urge Province to stick to its conditons re Line 9

DurhamCLEAR president, Doug Anderson is making the rounds of the lakefront communities in Durham to urge their Councils to support the conditions laid out by Rick Jennings, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ontario Ministry of Energy.as part of hisoral submission to the NEB on behalf of the Government of Ontario.

While these conditions do not go anywhwere near as far as DC would like, they should be considered as the minimum acceptable for the safe operation of the pipeline:

Durham Region doubly at risk: Thin walls and highest concentration of water crossings

This analysis is based in part on a chart of watercrossings released by Enbridge in response to an information request by Equiterre which showed that Durham Region had the highest concentration of watercrossing over the whole line.

Tell Environment Minister Bradley for a 'Bump Up' on the Duffin Creek Outfall EA

On November 19, Durham & York Regions declared their class EA on the Duffin Creek Sewage Plant Outfall 'competed' in spit of the fact that it has never evn been approved by Durham Regional Council, and, in fact, the Phase II report was specifically rejected back last March. By some quirk of Regional procedure, the EA proceeded regardless and is now 'complete'. 

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