Project to reverse Enbridge’s pipeline 9B : The game is not over!

Last November the mayor of Montreal, Mr. Denis Coderre, president of the Communauté Métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM), gave a press conference to remind the National Energy Board (NEB, ONÉ in French) and Engbridge (stock market symbol: ENB) that the project to reverse pipeline 9B has no room for error and must achieve a perfect score.  That explains our mobilization.  We showed up on February 26 morning for the public question period at the CMM Assembly, to ask Mr. Coderre whether the CMM would do everything in its power to require the National Energy Board to order hydrostatic tests on the existing conduits before the NEB authorizes the Leave To Open (LTO) of line 9B, since the NEB reserved to itself the right to do so when it accorded conditional approval of the project in March 2014.

During the lunch which follow the CMM Assembly, to which the NEB president, Mr. Peter Watson had been invited, Mr Coderre asked Mr Watson about the necessity of hydrostatic which Enbridge refuses to perform.  

Mr. Robert Grimaudo, mayor of St-Lazare who had a career in the steel pipe business, was present also at the same meeting with Mrs. Coderre and Watson. Mr. Grimaudo also heard Mr. Watson answers that other methods like in-line inspection tool like the "smart pig" are as efficient as hydrostatic tests and that the NEB is not willing to request hydrostatic tests saying that they can stress the pipeline too much, with potential damages. Mr. Grimaudo replied that: " with such an answer, the hydrostatic test stays in my opinion the best test to verify if the pipeline can withstand the operating pressure." 

A month later into our campaign, Mr. Peter Watson then agreed with Mr. Coderre when he wrote in his letter in Montreal Gazette that there could be "No room for error on pipeline safety". The decision on requesting hydrostatic tests has not been taken.

On April 30 we went again to the CMM Assembly and could not be more pleased to learn that a resolution had been voted on April 16  ! It's been resolved "to ask the that NEB request hydrostatic tests immediately before Enbridge Line 9B is put into service" (our translation)


The hydrostatic test allows concrete verification if a pipeline is fit for service without leaks.  The test complements internal tests conducted with the smart pig. Just as an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan cannot confirm a cancer diagnosis without a biopsy, the internal test with the pig cannot confirm the absence of leaks (likepinhole corrosion leaks) without a hydrostatic test. Click here to learn more about hydrostatic test.