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Enbridge’s Line 9 tar sands pipeline proposal has significant safety and economic risks International experts find Enbridge’s Line 9 tar sands pipeline proposal has significant safety and economic risks

OCT 18, 2013

Toronto, ON – Expert authors of two independent reports have raised serious doubts about the safety and economic benefits of Enbridge’s pipeline plan. The reports have been filed as expert testimony for the National Energy Board’s Line 9 hearings, which continue in Toronto until Saturday. A technical briefing about the reports was held this morning for media.

International pipeline safety expert, Richard Kuprewicz, explained his assessment of a “high risk of rupture on Line 9 in the early years of the reversal” and addressed Enbridge’s refusal to prudently implement the lessons from its Marshall, Michigan rupture.

“Given the many deficiencies uncovered in Enbridge’s application, I must conclude there is a high risk that Line 9 will rupture from the interaction of stress corrosion cracking, corrosion fatigue and general corrosion. And Enbridge’s pipeline safety approach will not prevent rupture under the operating conditions resulting from the implementation of the Project,” Kuprewicz said.

Energy economists Ian Goodman and Brigid Rowan discussed why the Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project involves a substantial risk of major economic damage and disruption. “This is especially true in Toronto and Montreal, where the pipeline runs parallel to or across key urban infrastructure and could threaten the drinking water supply, resulting in multi-billion dollar costs,” warned Ian Goodman, President, The Goodman Group, Ltd.

“The costs of a major pipeline rupture at Toronto’s Finch subway station would be very high and Enbridge has failed to provide sufficient assurance that it will be responsible for all damages in the case of a pipeline disaster,” added Brigid Rowan, Senior Economist, The Goodman Group, Ltd.

“Canadians need to be fully aware of the consequences of a Line 9 pipeline spill,” said Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “With pipelines, spills are inevitable. It’s not a question of if there will be a pipeline spill, but when that spill will be. The Line 9 pipeline plan is not only dangerous, it encourages Canada to increase our reliance on polluting tar sands oil, tipping us closer to disastrous climate change.”

Steven Guilbeault, Senior Director, Equiterre, said, “We want Canada to progressively shift its economy to renewable energy sources. To do this, we need to get away from tar sands exploitation.”

Line 9 is a 39-year old pipeline. Enbridge is seeking permission to carry a mix of crude types, including dilbit from Alberta’s tar sands. Tar sands production emits three to four times more greenhouse gases than producing conventional crude oil. This makes it one of the world’s dirtiest forms of fuel.

To read Richard Kuprewicz’s report, click here.

To read Ian Goodman and Brigid Rowan’s report, click here.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (  Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.


For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Geneviève Puskas, Equiterre, 514-792-5222,
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-570-2878,

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