City activists seek support to oppose allowing tar sands oil to cross the Escarpment.



By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON April 13, 2013.  People across the province and the province itself are gearing up for the National Energy Board (NEB) hearings that are expected to take place sometime in August, to hear an application from Enbridge Pipelines to both reverse the direction of the flow in their pipeline and to be allowed to transport diluted bitumen  through Line 9 which runs from Sarnia, Ontario to Montreal for a length of 836 km.  The portion of that line, known as Line 9b, runs from the Westover, Hamilton terminal, crosses the Beverly wetlands and enters Burlington at the Medad Valley, and continues across the crest of the Burlington Escarpment between Side Roads No. 1 and 2, and flanks the north side of the 407 and 401 highways through Oakville and into the GTA.

Nicole Goodman, a mother and Burlington resident is heading up a group of Burlington citizens that want to invite other residents interested in collaborating or supporting an application to express local concerns at NEB hearings.

The 407 is about all there is to protect many of the Burlington communities from any oil spill.  Residents want to be assured that the pipeline is safe enough to carry dilbit oil and that there are plans in place to handle a spill.

The NEB has a policy on who can attend the hearings.  People can take part as “interveners” or they can apply to be able to submit a letter.  The province has announced that it intends to take part as an “intervener” while the city of Burlington has decided it will submit a letter setting out its concerns.

While submitting a letter might not appear to be very much those letters become part of the record that will be used by the NEB to decide if they will grant the permit Enbridge needs to reverse the flow of the pipeline and transport oil from Alberta.

The NED has not made the process very easy.  The application you have to send in to get permission to send a letter runs ten pages long, but it is not as tough as it sounds according to Emily Ferguson, a McMaster University geography student who has been following this issue for some time.

Emily Ferguson, a McMaster University graduate (last exam next week) has been covering the National Energy Board process and the Enbridge Pipeline public hearings for some time. Expect to hear more from her on this subject.

Ferguson’s home town is Kingston but her Hamilton residence gives her a look at the bigger picture and she can understand the damage to Burlington and its Escarpment and the potential for serious damage whether that pipe line crosses the Moira River in Belleville and the Cataraqui river  or the Ottawa river

Her studies as a geography student certainly don’t hurt either  but most effective is the way she digs down a little deeper to see what is happening at the ground level.  Ferguson is applying for intervener status and Our Burlington is getting her media credentials so she can cover all the hearings.

Return to the Front page
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Pages: 1 2 3

1 comment to City activists seek support to oppose allowing tar sands oil to cross the Escarpment.