By Kevin Werner
METROLAND WEST MEDIA GROUP
Despite Hamilton’s limited authority, councillors agreed to investigate Enbridge Pipeline’s proposal to seek a flow reversal permit from Westover to Montreal.
Ward 1 councillor Brian McHattie, who introduced the motion at council’s Nov. 28 meeting, felt it was the city’s duty to review the issue.
He said an oil spill that occurred in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 2010, unleashing 3.3 million litres of oil into the surrounding water and community, could happen in Flamborough, affecting drinking water and nearby wetlands.
“To seek intervener status, information needs to come out,” said McHattie. “It’s important for Hamiltonians to know this issue.”
“We have an obligation to protect our watershed,” said Ward 8 councillor Terry Whitehead.
But Stoney Creek councillor Brad Clark said the city has no authority over the pipeline. He said city staff and councillors have more pressing issues to investigate.
“We are not the regulator,” he said. “There is nowhere here we can stick our fingers. Our staff has a lot of work to do. It’s a federal matter. I don’t understand why we would delve into it.”
On Nov. 29, Enbridge submitted its application to the National Energy Board requesting to reverse the flow from Westover to Montreal to its Line 9 pipe. It is also seeking to increase the line’s capacity from 240,000 to 300,000 barrels per day.
Activists claim the company plans to transport bitumen, from Alberta’s oil sands through the pipe. However, an Enbridge spokesperson said the line will predominately carry light, medium and heavy crude oil – not raw bitumen.