Line 9 pipeline list of ‘risk spots’ includes area park


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Enbridge’s proposed reversal of a 639-kilometre-long segment of its Line 9 — part of which runs through North York underneath Finch Avenue — to pump diluted bitumen from the Alberta tarsands to the east continues to attract controversy and concerns around community safety.

Last month, Enbridge released a map of areas in the GTA that they said would be most impacted in the event of an incident on the line. One of those spots is G. Ross Lord Park at Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West.

Although Enbridge said these are not “risk spots,” advocacy group Environmental Defence said there is cause for worry.

“It shows that Enbridge is aware of the significant risks of the pipeline,” said Adam Scott, program manager, climate and energy for Environmental Defence. “But they’re trying to downplay that.

Enbridge said that identifying the spots is meant to spread information, not worry.

“There’s a big difference between risk assessment and actual risk,” said Graham White, manager of business communications and public affairs with Enbridge. “We pay very close attention to the segments of our system that are highly ranked due to the high consequence of any incident — a very unlikely event that would occur. The reason a park would rank very high is because there’s a much greater impact. It has nothing to do with the condition of the pipe.”

Citing previous incidents including a rupture in Kalamazoo, Mich., Scott said that it’s difficult to trust Enbridge.

“[They] spilled multiple times, [they] have a very bad track record,” he said. “To say, ‘You need to trust us’ is not enough. None of this gives me confidence.”

Last fall, Environmental Defence hosted a protest concert, Rock the Line, at Mel Lastman Square. Scott says that there will be a national day of action scheduled for May, but no date has been selected yet.

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