Waterloo Region campaigners have prepared the following declaration against the line 9 reversal, which 789 people signed online and hundreds more signed on paper.
Line 9 is a 38-year-old pipeline that has been transporting light crude oil between Montreal, Quebec, and Sarnia, Ontario. The pipeline runs through hundreds of communities, the territories of many Indigenous nations, and dozens of watersheds, including the Grand River. Enbridge Inc. has applied to reverse the flow of the pipeline and send diluted bitumen (dilbit), a form of heavy crude from the tar sands, through Line 9. This will threaten life around and downstream from the pipeline.
Line 9 was not built to withstand the transport of diluted bitumen, a toxic compound that poses a particularly dire threat to communities and ecosystems. In 2010, a break in the nearly identical Enbridge pipeline in Kalamazoo, MI, caused the largest inland oil spill in American history, which the company is still struggling to clean up three years later. When Enbridge proposed essentially the same project as the Line 9 reversal in 2008, under the name Trailbreaker, it was successfully opposed based on safety concerns. Just because Enbridge is currently seeking approval for the project piece by piece—the reversal of the first half last year, and the second half plus the transport of bitumen this year—there is no reason for us to accept it now. The threats remain just as serious.