The Waterloo Region Coalition Against Line 9 has made the case to Regional
Council that dilbit is too great a risk, and has demanded a ban on
transporting this toxic sludge through the region. Call your councillors to
voice your support for a ban and let them know this is something that lots
of local residents care about!
Here are some points to bring up when talking to councillors:
- Diluted bitumen (dilbit) is a highly dangerous substance. In addition
to heavy crude oil, it has a proprietary chemical slurry mixed in to make
the substance flow. In a spill, these toxic chemicals vaporise, so people
in the area will get sick from breathing in the air. The health impacts of the dilbit spill in Mayflower, Arkansas attest to this.
- The Grand River is particularly threatened by dilbit. When dilbit
spills into a river, the crude oil sludge sinks to the bottom and can't be
cleaned up. The 2010 spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan was the test case
for this, and four years later, it still isn't cleaned up—this could very
well become the fate of the Grand River if we don't ban the transport of
- Any method of transporting dilbit poses a threat. Oil trains derail to
disastrous consequences, as we saw in Lac Megantic. Cambridge is already at
risk from such an explosion (see http://explosive-crude-by-rail.org/ca/).
And pipelines, regardless of inspections, spill. Line 9, which Enbridge wants to pump dilbit through, has had 35 significant spills in its operational history—that averages to almost 1 a
year—and Line 7, which runs parallel, is 20 years older than Line 9, making
it potentially at an even greater risk for a spill.
- The Grand River watershed is an essential source of water for the
region. Through thousands of wells, it provides drinking water for the
majority of residents, as well as water for farms. It also supports
countless ecosystems, serving as a habitat for a rich diversity of species.
- Dilbit isn't worth the risk to the region. We have nothing to gain from
moving dilbit through Waterloo Region. It doesn't bring jobs or money, and
it works against building healthy, sustainable communities. Transporting
dilbit through the Region just puts the water and land, and all of us who
live on it, at risk.
If you want more resources, have questions, or want to share what you heard
in response from councillors, get in touch with us at
firstname.lastname@example.org, and look for updates on noline9wr.ca!