Enbridge Line 9 Reversal, Incinerator, Expanded Duffin Creek Outfall

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Lot more questions than answers on Line 9

I started this list of questions back a few weeks ago. I have found answers for some of them and I have added those. I also continue to add questions. If you have questions, email them to me at doug@durhamclear.ca and i will add them to the list.

If DurhamCLEAR gets intervenor status at the NEB hearings this list could form the basis of our questioning.

Line 9 thru Durham

The route of Line 9 runs roughly between Taunton Rd and Hwy 7/Winchester until it gets into Clarington where it falls below Taunton.

I drove up Hwy 12 in Whitby yesterday to see if I could find it, and it is marked at the side of the road with markers like:



Note the soggy conditions. This is just N of Groveside cemetary.

The markers appear to be only on one side of the road.

On Coronation Rd the markers looked like this:

Along the way I found many signs for natural gas pipelines but after I'd seen about 10 of them I realized that most were in front of houses and they were likely just residential feedlines. They look quite similar.

Along the hydro right of way that the Enbridge pipeline was following I found another oil pipeline labelled the Trans-northern pipeline. Apparantly this is for refined oil running from Nanticoke to Montreal. It's markers were slightly different.

Some of the terrain is quite irregular and I wonder whether the pipe goes up and down with the terrain. For it to run straight in an area like this, it would have to be about 30 feet deep.

When the snow is gone and things are a bit drier, we need to track the line across the numerous creek beds to see if any of it is sticking out like Adam found on the Rouge River.

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:

What you can do about Line 9

  1. Attend our public information meeting on Thurs. Mar. 21 at Ajax Town Hall - see full info below.
  2. Familiarize yourself with the route. (click for detailed maps)
  3. You can review Enbridge's application at www.neb-one.gc.ca under Major Applications and Projects:
    Enbridge Pipelines Inc. – Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project. (right hand side of the page). It is apparently also available at the Oshawa Public Library.
  4. Send comments to the NEB before Mar. 21 concerning the List of Issues that they will consider at the hearings. There's not much time for this as your comments must be received by the board by noon on the 21st as well as a hard copy served on Enbridge.
  5. Send a letter or email to the NEB requesting an Information Session - the more requests they get, the more likely they will hold one here in Durham Region. "These sessions are intended to assist people to better understand and participate in a Board hearing process, but are not a forum for discussing the merits or substance of the application. Persons interested in future sessions should contact the Process Advisor."

    Michael Benson, Process Advisor
    National Energy Board
    Telephone 403-299-1992 or at the toll free number 1-800-899-1265
    Email Michael.Benson@neb-one.gc.ca

A New 38-year-old Environmental Concern

Did you know that there was an oil pipeline running clear across Durham Region from Pickering to Clarington? Line 9, as it is known, has been there for 38 years carrying conventional crude oil between refineries in Sarnia to Montreal.

for more info on Line 9, see Derek Leahy's article under Current Issues

However, Enbridge (the owner) has now applied to the National Energy Board to allow the pipeline to carry tar sands oil from Alberta, which is heavier, more viscous and more corrosive than conventional crude. Can an old pipeline handle it?

DurhamCLEAR is hosting a public information meeting on the subject:

Thursday, March 21, 7pm
Council Chambers - Town of Ajax Municipal Building, 65 harwood Ave. S.
guest speaker from Environmental Defense
Everyone Welcome

click on the graphic at right for a printable flyer/poster

Top of mind in any discussion of this pipeline is the rupture in 2010 of a similar Enbridge owned pipeline which spilled more than 3 million litres of heavy crude into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. Almost 3 years and more than $750 million later, the cleanup continues and parts of the Kalamazoo River remain closed.

The major concern of this pipeline across Durham is that it crosses  numerous creeks and rivers flowing into Lake Ontario.

Why We Oppose Incineration


Garbage disposal by incineration is just a landfill in the sky. Everything in your garbage including all the toxic items like batteries (mercury, cadmium, lead), chemical cleaners, paints etc. will end up in the ash (approx 30%) or the stack emissions (approx 70%) where the wind will spread it over the entire landscape.

Incineration does not destroy waste - it simply changes its form into something which will allow it to spread almost invisibly over hundreds, perhaps thousands, of square miles.

In addition, burning facilitates chemical reactions which will turn otherwise innocuous substance like plastics and rubber into dioxins and furans, some of the most toxic substances known - there is no safe level.

For a full inventory of the expected emissions from this facility click here.

These emissions will be spread over schoolyards, farms, lakes and rivers where they will be absorbed into the entire food chain.

Air pollution is the principal cause of asthma and a leading contributor to heart disease, cancer and other diseases. Even without the incinerator, Durham Region already has some of the highest levels of asthma in the province - Courtice has one of the most polluted airsheds in Ontario. (St. Mary's Cement is the main culprit at the moment.)

High temperature combustion also produces fine particulate matter, PM2.5, (smaller than 2.5 microns) which is becoming a major health concern. This is a major contributor to smog. PM2.5 also includes ultrafine particles referred to as nanoparticles. Until fairly recently these were unmeasurable but new research is finding connections to a wide range of serious illness.


Important Meetings re Sewage outfall from Duffin Creek Plant

For background information for these meetings see:
"Expanded Duffins Creek Oufall" under Current Issues in the menu

See also Town of Ajax webpage for Online Video & more information

Please read the information referenced above and attend the PIFs below

Tuesday, February 26, 5pm to 8pm - formal presentation at 6:30
East Shore Community Centre, 910 Liverpool Rd, Pickering, Meeting Rms 1&2
Region of Durham Public Information Forum

Wednesday, February 27, 5pm to 8pm - formal presentation at 6:30
Ajax - McLean Community Centre, 95 Magill Dr
Region of Durham Public Information Forum

These 2 meetings are requirements of the EA and the Region wil try to script them closely, so we need to be ready with good questions that will lead away from their "business-as-usual' agenda



Durham Region is building a garbage incinerator in the S end of Courtice near Lake Ontario. DurhamCLEAR has been actively fighting this plan since our inception along with other groups. We created a separate campaign website which has recently been archived to DontGetBurned.DurhamCLEAR.ca.


For a blow by blow documentary record of our battle against the incinerator, Kerry Meydam has an excellent website of document links at DurhamEnvironmentWatch.org.

Click the logo below

Durham Environment Watch.org

DC ends its legal action

With considerable regret DurhamCLEAR is ending its legal action against the garbage incinerator in Courtice. The hearing which had been scheduled for July 17 will not take place.

While we were fairly confident we could win the appeal on security of costs and move on, the legal process was dragging on so slowly that the incinerator would be built before we ever got a decision on the main motion. Although judges are supposed to be immune to such arguments, it was a growing concern whether a judge would turn back a $300 million project which was substantially completed.

The other issue weighing us down was money. Our dinner/dance fundraiser last month at the Rickard complex raised several thousand dollars - but not enough to cover outstanding legal bills.

Money is really tight in the current economic environment, and with the incinerator under construction, it is getting increasingly difficult to motivate people to dig into their pockets.

Why the incinerator is doomed to be an albatross

A chart was released by the Works Department at the March Waste Management Advisory Committee (WMAC) meeting which revealed that waste volumes have actually been declining for the last 5+ years and that the Region is already de-emphasizing recycling in order to ensure that there will be sufficient waste to run the incinerator when it fires up in 2014.

Total waste per capita has dropped 14% in 5 years. 

  • 2006 408 Kg
  • 2011 353 Kg

Here is a graph derived from the Region's numbers compared with the numbers in the Deloitte Business Plan prepared for Council in 2008. This business plan (like all business plans) was intended to show Council that the incinerator made good economic sense.

However 4 years later it is clear from the graph that their projections were way off and the rosy predictions of 70% diversion by 2022 were but a pipe dream.

Diversion in 2011 was only 53% while the Deloitte Business Plan projected 60% for last year. The Golder report commissioned by Durham Council in 2009 mapped out in detail with costing how Durham could have achieved 63.7% lasat year.

While it is difficult to draw long term conclusions from 5 years of numbers (2006-11), if you draw a line forward from the real (blue) points to 2022, you find a waste gap of about 150,000 tonnes.

The problem is that the Region has signed a contract to supply a minimum of 100,000 tonnes to the incinerator.

Because Durham has limited itself to only 2 waste options (recycle/compost and burn), if total waste is dropping then a larger and larger percentage will end up in the incinerator and less in the recycle stream. This is exactly opposite to the commitments made during the EA that the incinerator would 'drive' recycling and 'never' cut into it.

We didn't believe them then and we don't believe them now.

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