Golf course owner wants to keep Enbridge pipeline

News Nov 05, 2015 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

A local golf course owner wants the city to oppose Enbridge's plan to reroute the Line 10 oil pipeline around his property.

The company wants to replace a 35-kilometre section of a decades-old pipeline between Westover and a junction near Mount Hope, with construction starting in 2017 if approved by the National Energy Board. Enbridge proposes to jog a new and larger-capacity pipeline around several golf courses and a Mount Hope neighbourhood.

Knollwood golf course owner Jim Harris, however, told councillors Wednesday it would be wrong to let the company "use the Greenbelt to its financial advantage" by skirting his land through farm fields.

"They're doing it because it's cheaper," he said, adding he wants to oppose the change before the NEB.

Harris said he felt the company is "playing me off against my neighbours."

But when asked by councillors if he had a financial interest in maintaining the line through his property he declined to discuss it, noting the city is a "competitor" in the golf course industry.

He did say, however, the move will "weaken" Greenbelt protections, arguing if Enbridge is allowed to gain financially from using otherwise-protected Greenbelt lands, other landowners will want that same opportunity.

Enbridge spokesperson Graham White agreed it could be cheaper to maintain a pipeline under a farmer's field rather than under a golf course, since the company commits to restoring properties after maintenance digs and in some cases compensates landowners for losses.

But White added landowners don't receive annual compensation like rent for allowing an easement.

He said the company also considers farmland safer for a pipeline route because golf courses periodically drill holes and change the landscape. Adding a pipeline easement doesn't prevent farming of Greenbelt-protected agricultural land, he said.

Glanbrook Coun. Brenda Johnson expressed surprise the golf course owner "actually wants the pipeline," noting residents in Mount Hope are eager to see the buried pipe relocated out of their backyards. "They're not even allowed to set up an inflatable pool" overtop the easement, she said.

Company representatives cautioned the proposed reroute isn't guaranteed and depends on agreement from all affected landowners. Enbridge started consulting with landowners in 2013 on possible replacement and rerouting of the 30-plus year-old pipe, which stretches all the way to Buffalo, N.Y. Repairs to sections of the parallel Line 11, which ends up in Nanticoke, were completed in 2014.

Councillors asked for a staff report on the pipeline proposal before Christmas so the city can submit official comments on the plan before the NEB weighs in.

Other residents are keen for the city to take a hard line with the company, which also spurred protests locally and across Ontario with its plan to reverse the oil flow in the east-west Line 9.

Agnes Richard, speaking on behalf of climate change action group Hamilton 350, told councillors it was "inaccurate" to call the Line 10 plan a simple replacement, since the new pipe would be 20 inches rather than 12 inches in diameter. Enbridge said that is now a standard, modern size for an oil line.

Richard urged the city to call for an environmental assessment of the project, noting an Enbridge pipeline ruptured in Binbrook in 2001.

Pipeline opponent Jaydene Lavallie went further. "No line 10. Not old, not new, not at all," she said.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

Golf course owner wants to keep Enbridge pipeline

News Nov 05, 2015 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

A local golf course owner wants the city to oppose Enbridge's plan to reroute the Line 10 oil pipeline around his property.

The company wants to replace a 35-kilometre section of a decades-old pipeline between Westover and a junction near Mount Hope, with construction starting in 2017 if approved by the National Energy Board. Enbridge proposes to jog a new and larger-capacity pipeline around several golf courses and a Mount Hope neighbourhood.

Knollwood golf course owner Jim Harris, however, told councillors Wednesday it would be wrong to let the company "use the Greenbelt to its financial advantage" by skirting his land through farm fields.

"They're doing it because it's cheaper," he said, adding he wants to oppose the change before the NEB.

Harris said he felt the company is "playing me off against my neighbours."

But when asked by councillors if he had a financial interest in maintaining the line through his property he declined to discuss it, noting the city is a "competitor" in the golf course industry.

He did say, however, the move will "weaken" Greenbelt protections, arguing if Enbridge is allowed to gain financially from using otherwise-protected Greenbelt lands, other landowners will want that same opportunity.

Enbridge spokesperson Graham White agreed it could be cheaper to maintain a pipeline under a farmer's field rather than under a golf course, since the company commits to restoring properties after maintenance digs and in some cases compensates landowners for losses.

But White added landowners don't receive annual compensation like rent for allowing an easement.

He said the company also considers farmland safer for a pipeline route because golf courses periodically drill holes and change the landscape. Adding a pipeline easement doesn't prevent farming of Greenbelt-protected agricultural land, he said.

Glanbrook Coun. Brenda Johnson expressed surprise the golf course owner "actually wants the pipeline," noting residents in Mount Hope are eager to see the buried pipe relocated out of their backyards. "They're not even allowed to set up an inflatable pool" overtop the easement, she said.

Company representatives cautioned the proposed reroute isn't guaranteed and depends on agreement from all affected landowners. Enbridge started consulting with landowners in 2013 on possible replacement and rerouting of the 30-plus year-old pipe, which stretches all the way to Buffalo, N.Y. Repairs to sections of the parallel Line 11, which ends up in Nanticoke, were completed in 2014.

Councillors asked for a staff report on the pipeline proposal before Christmas so the city can submit official comments on the plan before the NEB weighs in.

Other residents are keen for the city to take a hard line with the company, which also spurred protests locally and across Ontario with its plan to reverse the oil flow in the east-west Line 9.

Agnes Richard, speaking on behalf of climate change action group Hamilton 350, told councillors it was "inaccurate" to call the Line 10 plan a simple replacement, since the new pipe would be 20 inches rather than 12 inches in diameter. Enbridge said that is now a standard, modern size for an oil line.

Richard urged the city to call for an environmental assessment of the project, noting an Enbridge pipeline ruptured in Binbrook in 2001.

Pipeline opponent Jaydene Lavallie went further. "No line 10. Not old, not new, not at all," she said.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec

Golf course owner wants to keep Enbridge pipeline

News Nov 05, 2015 by Matthew Van Dongen The Hamilton Spectator

A local golf course owner wants the city to oppose Enbridge's plan to reroute the Line 10 oil pipeline around his property.

The company wants to replace a 35-kilometre section of a decades-old pipeline between Westover and a junction near Mount Hope, with construction starting in 2017 if approved by the National Energy Board. Enbridge proposes to jog a new and larger-capacity pipeline around several golf courses and a Mount Hope neighbourhood.

Knollwood golf course owner Jim Harris, however, told councillors Wednesday it would be wrong to let the company "use the Greenbelt to its financial advantage" by skirting his land through farm fields.

"They're doing it because it's cheaper," he said, adding he wants to oppose the change before the NEB.

Harris said he felt the company is "playing me off against my neighbours."

But when asked by councillors if he had a financial interest in maintaining the line through his property he declined to discuss it, noting the city is a "competitor" in the golf course industry.

He did say, however, the move will "weaken" Greenbelt protections, arguing if Enbridge is allowed to gain financially from using otherwise-protected Greenbelt lands, other landowners will want that same opportunity.

Enbridge spokesperson Graham White agreed it could be cheaper to maintain a pipeline under a farmer's field rather than under a golf course, since the company commits to restoring properties after maintenance digs and in some cases compensates landowners for losses.

But White added landowners don't receive annual compensation like rent for allowing an easement.

He said the company also considers farmland safer for a pipeline route because golf courses periodically drill holes and change the landscape. Adding a pipeline easement doesn't prevent farming of Greenbelt-protected agricultural land, he said.

Glanbrook Coun. Brenda Johnson expressed surprise the golf course owner "actually wants the pipeline," noting residents in Mount Hope are eager to see the buried pipe relocated out of their backyards. "They're not even allowed to set up an inflatable pool" overtop the easement, she said.

Company representatives cautioned the proposed reroute isn't guaranteed and depends on agreement from all affected landowners. Enbridge started consulting with landowners in 2013 on possible replacement and rerouting of the 30-plus year-old pipe, which stretches all the way to Buffalo, N.Y. Repairs to sections of the parallel Line 11, which ends up in Nanticoke, were completed in 2014.

Councillors asked for a staff report on the pipeline proposal before Christmas so the city can submit official comments on the plan before the NEB weighs in.

Other residents are keen for the city to take a hard line with the company, which also spurred protests locally and across Ontario with its plan to reverse the oil flow in the east-west Line 9.

Agnes Richard, speaking on behalf of climate change action group Hamilton 350, told councillors it was "inaccurate" to call the Line 10 plan a simple replacement, since the new pipe would be 20 inches rather than 12 inches in diameter. Enbridge said that is now a standard, modern size for an oil line.

Richard urged the city to call for an environmental assessment of the project, noting an Enbridge pipeline ruptured in Binbrook in 2001.

Pipeline opponent Jaydene Lavallie went further. "No line 10. Not old, not new, not at all," she said.

mvandongen@thespec.com

905-526-3241 | @Mattatthespec