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Hamilton City Council, Stop the Line 9 Reversal

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Dear Hamilton City Councillors, First, I would like to thank you for taking action to investigate the potential impacts of Enbridge's plans to reverse the flow of their Trailbreaker Line 9 pipeline to run from Sarnia to Hamilton's Westover Station. At a time when federal environmental oversights are being gutted, our local communities must step up and take action to protect our watersheds and our environment from potential sources of mass pollution. Like you, I've been shocked this summer by a number of massive oil spills in both Canada and the US that have devastated rivers and lakes. This is not exceptional. According to the Polaris Institute, 804 spills have been reported by Enbridge in the 1999-2010 period alone an average of one every five to six days. Enbridge's Line 9 traverses a provincially-significant wetland near Enbridge's Westover installations, as well as portions of both Spencer Creek and Fairchild Creek. This nearly 40 year old pipeline has the same lining as Enbridge's Line 6b pipeline, that spilled over 3 million litres of diluted bitumen (dilbit) from a ruptured pipeline into Michigan's Kalamazoo River in July 2010. This pipeline rupture devastated the area, and chemicals specific to the transport of dilbit poisoned nearby residents with a gas that induced vomiting, rashes, and a burning of the eyes and throat. Over two years after the spill, residents still complain that the clean-up is far from complete. This is deeply concerning to me. Our environment and health is under threat as is our local decision making. These pipelines also go through Indigenous communities that have not consented to being put in such grave danger.Enbridge has moved ahead with the support of the federal government running rough shod over local conservation authorities and sovereign Indigenous governments. This pipeline will create dangerous, temporary jobs rather than long-term sustainable livelihoods. Meanwhile, we will also get long-term threats. The economics of it simply do not work. As a local resident potentially impacted by this project, I urge you to do everything in your power to prevent Enbridge from piping oil through our wetlands, rivers, and areas of dense population. This pipeline should be decommissioned, not reversed.

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