The red line in this image from Enbridge shows how Line 9 meanders its way across Ontario and into Quebec.
CORNWALL, Ontario - A controversial plan that will see the capacity of a pipeline that runs through the Cornwall area has been approved by the National Energy Board.
"Enbridge will be permit to operate all of Line 9 in an eastward direction in order to transport crude oil from Western Canada and the U.S. Bakken region to refineries in Ontario and Quebec," the board said in a statement on its website.
The board’s approval is subject to a number of conditions, including that Enbridge undertake activities regarding pipeline integrity, emergency response, and continued consultation.
The board also requires Enbridge to apply for leave to open the reversed Line 9.
The project has been met with criticism locally. Meetings were held where many local stakeholers expressed concern about the plan.
Environmental group Defence Canada, via climate and energy campaigner Sabrina Bowman, as well as energy writer Derek Leahy, complained the plan is fraught with concern, when they met in Cornwall last year.
“The decision-making process on Line 9 is moving so fast that the project could be approved...without a lot of people in Ontario and Quebec knowing about the existence of the pipeline," Leahy said. "This is particularly unfair to the communities living along Line 9."
The 37-yeard old Line 9 pipeline stretches from Sarnia to Montreal. It runs through Cornwall north of Highway 401 between County Road 18 and Headline Road. Line 9 crosses every waterway flowing into Lake Ontario and the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers.
Enbridge wants to push 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day through the line, an increase of about 60,000. There is not expected to be an increase in pressure.
The board gave approval for Enridge to move different types of oil, including a heavier form of crude.