Statement from Adam Scott of Environmental Defence on the irresponsible approval of Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline project

TORONTO, March 6, 2014 /CNW/ - We are deeply disappointed that the National Energy Board (NEB) decided to rubber-stamp this risky project.

At over 140 pages, the NEB's decision document was long and complicated, and from what we can see, fails to respond to serious safety concerns raised by governments, First Nations, landowners and thousands of concerned Canadians.

The NEB's decision to allow Line 9 without meaningful conditions despite concerns from experts, stakeholders and governments shows that the federal process for reviewing pipeline proposals is broken and can't do its job of protecting Canadians' safety from risky energy projects.

In particular, the NEB's decision to ignore the request of the Province of Ontario, affected municipalities like Kingston, landowners, pipeline safety experts and thousands of Canadians for a full hydro-test puts communities along the pipeline route at serious risk of a tar sands oil spill. This test, which Enbridge has resisted, is essential for determining if the pipeline is able to meet basic pipeline safety standards.

Evidence submitted by independent pipeline safety expert Richard Kuprewicz stated that "without a proper hydro-test there is a high risk the pipeline will rupture in the early years following the Project's implementation." 

Enbridge's Line 9 pipeline project is a recipe for disaster. The 39-year-old pipeline runs directly through the most densely populated parts of Canada, threatening the health, safety and environment of Canadians. The pipeline crosses numerous rivers flowing into the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence - sources of drinking water for millions of people. Communities and thousands of individuals across Ontario and Quebec came together to speak out against this dangerous project.

Enbridge's recent track record is one of significant pipeline spills and safety lapses. This approval will allow 300,000 barrels of more dangerous tar sands oil to flow across Ontario and Quebec every day, and will lock us into decades of growing global warming emissions. Canadians need a fair and democratic process for reviewing these proposals that considers the full environmental risks.

Let's hope this is the last time the interests of the oil industry are permitted to trump the safety of Canadians.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): 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.

SOURCE Environmental Defence

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

Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258; 416-570-2878 cell ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca