Golden Horseshoe Area Citizens Challenge Plans For Controversial Enbridge Oil Pipeline

“The National Energy Board has been heavily criticized for not requiring comprehensive environmental assessments of pipeline projects … and for failing to consult with First Nations whose traditional lands are traversed.”

News from the Hamilton, Ontario-based Citizens At City Hall (CATCH)

Posted August 4rth, 2016 on Niagara At Large  

The catastrophic oil spill in Saskatchewan this July has raised new concerns about inadequate environmental reviews of pipelines as the National Energy Board (NEB) grapples with Enbridge’s proposal to construct 35 kilometres of its Line 10 across rural Hamilton. Farm families near Copetown are challenging the company’s re-routing of the export pipe across their properties to avoid a golf course.enbridge pipeline better

 “The project focuses on replacing 35 km of existing 12-inch-diameter steel pipe, installed in 1962, with a new 20-inch line,” explains Enbridge’s website. “By replacing this segment of Line 10 rather than applying several preventative maintenance digs, we will minimize overall disturbance to landowners along the right-of-way and the environment, address ongoing maintenance requirements and make a safe pipeline even safer.”

The new pipe would run from Westover to Nebo Road, and is part of a 143 kilometre line that extends into New York State. NEB formal hearings on the project are expected to occur this fall.

City council has raised concerns about the company plans to leave the old pipe in the ground, but only Matthew Green appears to oppose the whole project. Council has not objected to the re-routing across Greenbelt foodlands, but Enbridge’s plan to use 11 kilometres of new right-of-way to avoid the costs of disrupting golf courses has generated opposition from several rural landowners, including a group of eleven farm families whose properties are scheduled to be part of the new route east of Copetown.

Legal counsel to the Copetown Landowners Group have commissioned and filed an expert study that slams the environmental assessment of the Line 10 project submitted by Enbridge to the NEB.

The peer review prepared by Hardy Stevenson and Associates Limited (HSAL) and filed on June 30 has not yet generated an Enbridge response but it raises multiple objections to the environmental and socio-economic assessment used by the company to justify the pipeline relocation around the Flamborough Hills golf course.

“Enbridge’s Line 10 public and stakeholder consultation process did not allow critically important biophysical and socio-economic information to be identified and meaningful consultation to occur before key environmental assessment decisions were made,” argues the review.

“HSAL would have expected to see a discussion of the potential significant cumulative impacts created by a third linear corridor the Copetown Diversion will create in the Copetown area. The effect will be to create new ribbon-like lot parcels, potentially removing farmland from production should landowners sell smaller lots created, further reducing the size and viability of farms.”

Enbridge deciding on the re-route before it formally studied and consulted on the change violates provincial assessment rules, HSAL charges. The reviewer also contends that “agricultural effects created by the Copetown Diversion route appear to be more significant than the agricultural effects Enbridge is seeking to avoid.”

Other Line 10 re-routes have also generated objections, but Enbridge has obtained the support of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Hamilton which owns the Southern Pines Golf Course, another one that would be avoided by a new right-of-way across farmland.

The July 20 spill of 200,000 litres of oil into the North Saskatchewan River and its dispersal over 500 km downstream has multiple towns and cities scrambling to find alternative drinking water. The company delayed notifying authorities by 14 hours and it has now been revealed that the leak occurred when Husky Oil began operating a new cross-river pipe that had been exempted from environmental assessment by the Saskatchewan government – whose premier has been a vocal advocate for more pipelines.

The National Energy Board has been heavily criticized for not requiring comprehensive environmental assessments of pipeline projects, especially their climatic impacts, and for failing to consult with First Nations whose traditional lands are traversed. The latter shortcoming raised by Chippewas of the Thames First Nation with respect to Enbridge’s controversial Line 9 pipeline will be examined by the Supreme Court of Canada this fall, and the local Haudenosaunee Development Institute has written to the NEB with similar concerns about Line 10.

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CATCH (Citizens at City Hall) updates use transcripts and/or public documents to highlight information about Hamilton civic affairs that is not generally available in the mass media. Detailed reports of City Hall meetings can be reviewed at hamiltoncatch.org. You can receive all CATCH free updates by sending an email to http://hamiltoncatch.org/newsletter/?p=subscribe. Sharing links are available on the hamiltoncatch.org.

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2 responses to “Golden Horseshoe Area Citizens Challenge Plans For Controversial Enbridge Oil Pipeline

  1. When I originally investigated the Board Members of the National Energy Board I found script indicating they were basically “ALL” Conservatives appointed by Harper and many reside in and around Calgary. In my opinion this Board is NOT representative of the peoples of Canada and should be disbanded immediately. That they have the authority to over ride the will of the Canadian people is in itself contrary to the definition of DEMOCRACY and in as much are an illegal entity that in truth should be shown the same respect as was shown Harper BOOTED OUT…………Amen
    What the hell is wrong with this “NEW” Liberal Government for when they fail to repeal these appointed stooges positions then they the Liberal are RUBBER STAMPING their existence.

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  2. Here is the truth versus the load of hogwash posted. The reality is these individuals got greedy and by getting greedy I mean they built golf courses on the property never intending to turn a profit just so they milk Enbridge for premium dollars.

    Anyone who drives by the area and sees six golf courses in the span of a couple of km realizes let alone the residents such as myself. So in an effort to save money Enbridge decided to create an alternate route. These guys are now left holding the bag having spent hundreds of thousands to build these golf courses which will never turn a profit.

    So you have this desperation. You can even read it in the complaint. It may affect our plans for future crops. it may affect this crop or another. Meanwhile these same people WANT the pipeline on their property and in many cases already have existing pipelines.

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