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

The map shown above sets out where the line runs through Burlington – it’s been running there for years with no problems anyone is aware of – but then Enbridge doesn’t talk about its problems – it responds to disasters – which is what a lot of people feel communities along the length of the line are looking at if there is a leak.

That is oil from a ruptured pipeline that was carrying “dilbit” from Alberta.  On March 29, 2013, an ExxonMobil pipeline carrying Canadian tar sands crude ruptured and spilled oil in the North Woods neighborhood of Mayflower, Ark., a town of 2,200 people located about 25 miles northeast of Little Rock.

A recent rupture of an oil line carrying “dilbit” – diluted bitumen from the Alberta tar sands through the town of Mayflower, Arkansas had oil running through the streets of that community and flooding the back yards of homes.

Toxic oil was running through the streets of Mayflower, Arkansas in a pipeline most people didn’t even know was in place. Burlington groups want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen here.  Twenty-two homes in the North Woods neighborhood had to be evacuated. Displaced families said  they were “in shock” by the disaster that upended their lives.

While that pipeline was much older than Line 9b, it ruptured the first time there was a reverse flow.

Most of the people opposed to the Enbridge application are not opposed to the movement of oil through a pipeline – they are opposed to very toxic oil being moved through a very old pipeline that has not been inspected since 2004 and is going to be used for something it was not built to do.

A group of Burlington citizens are inviting other residents interested in collaborating or supporting an application to express concerns for Burlington at the National Energy Board’s (NEB) hearing on the Line 9B proposal to join in and participate.   The deadline to submit an application is noon Friday, April 19, 2013.  If accepted by the NEB the group would collaborate to prepare and submit written evidence or a letter of comment by a July 9 deadline.   If approved as an intervener final written arguments are scheduled for the end of August.

Some had hoped the federal government would approve an environmental assessment but that hope died when the federal government issued new guidelines “streamline” energy application processes. This means there will be less time to assess the application and less room for concerned parties to participate.

Everyone involved in this protest points out that the pipeline was constructed 38 years ago and was not intended to carry the type of oil that Enbridge wants to transport.  The pipeline will carry diluted bitumen “dilbit” which is too thick to flow through pipelines so it is diluted with natural gas liquids and turned into dilbit, or diluted bitumen.

When Enbridge met with residents at city hall recently, they tended to dodge direct questions.  They were in Burlington at the invitation of the Mayor who surprisingly said very little.  Neither of the Members of Parliament who represent the people in Burlington: . Mike Wallace – Burlington or Lisa Raitt – Halton made an appearance and neither has made any public comment.

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.