Local officials and climate activists nationwide are raising concerns about the natural gas pipeline proposed through rural Flamborough and the protected Beverly swamp.
The 10-kilometre route for Enbridge Gas Inc.’s proposed natural gas pipeline runs through the Beverly swamp and crosses Spencer Creek twice. The neighbourhood, centre right, is Beverly Hills Estates and Ponderosa Nature Resort off Concession 8 West, Flamborough. – Enbridge map
A controversial pipeline planned through rural Hamilton is spurring pushback from local government — and also climate activists across Canada worried about the impact of ‘fracked gas’ on climate change.
City council voted Friday to ask the Ontario Energy Board (OEB) to specifically consider climate change impacts — and Hamilton’s own carbon-cutting goals — when ruling on an Enbridge Gas application to build a 10-kilometre natural gas pipeline through Flamborough.
It also requested the OEB hold a public hearing in Hamilton. Councillors will debate Feb. 19 whether to seek intervener status to participate in such a hearing — a move which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“We’ve declared a climate emergency. It’s important to stress to the board that the climate impact from this project be considered,” said Coun. Brad Clark.
That council vote followed a Hamilton Conservation Authority decision a day earlier to oppose an Enbridge easement request to run the pipeline through conservation lands — at least until after a “peer-reviewed” ecological study is done.
Enbridge told councillors Friday the $206-million project would follow an existing pipeline corridor, create jobs and new tax revenue for Hamilton. Spokesperson Keith Boulton argued natural gas is cleaner-burning than other fossil fuels and provides “a great balance between energy reliability, affordability and the environment.”
Local environmental groups like Hamilton 350 have long opposed any gas or oil pipeline expansions as dangerous to local waterways.
They’re getting a visible boost now from national and provincial groups like Environmental Defence Canada and the Green party of Ontario. Both are running social media campaign ads targeting the Hamilton pipeline — while Enbridge is simultaneously advertising in support.
“Tell your MPP to say no to the new giant Hamilton pipeline and keep American fracked gas out of our natural areas!” says an Environmental Defence Facebook ad that specifically points to the protected Beverly swamp.
A Green party ad warns Hamilton “should not become a corridor for fracked gas,” referring to the contentious method of extracting natural gas via hydraulic fracturing, the high-pressure injection of liquid into the ground to shatter rock. SOURCE