Enbridge’s Line 9B: International Experts Raise Serious Safety and Economic Concerns

Original Release:


Posted 18 Oct 2013


Toronto, October 18, 2013 – International independent experts have raised serious doubts about the safety and economic benefits of the Line 9B reversal. Their reports have been filed as expert testimony with the National Energy Board in the Line 9B case, which is being heard in Toronto until Saturday.

International pipeline safety expert, Richard Kuprewicz, explained his assessment of a “high risk of rupture on Line 9 in the early years of the reversal” and addressed Enbridge’s refusal to prudently implement the lessons from its Marshall, Michigan 2010 rupture. “Given the many deficiencies uncovered in Enbridge’s application, I must conclude there is a high risk that Line 9 will rupture from the interaction of stress corrosion cracking, corrosion fatigue and general corrosion. And Enbridge’s pipeline safety approach will not prevent rupture under the operating conditions resulting from the implementation of the Project.”

Energy economists Ian Goodman and Brigid Rowan discussed why the Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion Project involves a substantial risk of major economic damage and disruption – and potential loss of life. “This is especially true in Toronto and Montreal, where the pipeline runs parallel to or across key urban infrastructure and could threaten the drinking water supply, resulting in multi-billion dollar costs,” warned Ian Goodman, President, The Goodman Group, Ltd. “The costs of a major pipeline rupture at Toronto’s Finch subway station would be very high and Enbridge has failed to provide sufficient assurance that it will be responsible for all damages in the case of a pipeline disaster,” added Brigid Rowan, Senior Economist, The Goodman Group, Ltd.

“Canadians need to be fully aware of the potential consequences of a pipeline rupture,” reminded Adam Scott of Environmental Defense. “Not only is this pipeline reversal dangerous, but it also encourages Canada to increase its dependency to oil.”

Steven Guilbeault, Senior Director, Equiterre, said, “We want Canada to progressively shift its economy to renewable energy sources, sustainable transport and energy efficiency. To do this, we need to get away from tar sands exploitation.”

This 39-year old pipeline would be carrying a mix of crude types, including dilbit from Alberta’s tar sands. Tar sands production emits three to four times more greenhouse gases than producing conventional crude oil. This makes it one of the world’s dirtiest forms of fuel.

To read reports in full:

Report on Pipeline Safety for Enbridge’s Line 9B Application to NEB (Kuprewicz)

The Relative Economic Costs and Benefits of the Line 9B Reversal and Line 9 Capacity Expansion (Goodman and Rowan)

For more information:

Geneviève Puskas, Equiterre
514-792-5222 /

Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence,
416-570-2878 /