10/09/2014 08:34 EDT | Updated 12/10/2014 05:59 EST

Enbridge Line 9 Pipeline Hated By NEB

Enbridge Inc. signage is displayed outside of the company's corporate office in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. Enbridge Inc. provides energy transportation, distribution, operates crude oil and liquids pipeline systems, natural gas transmission for midstream businesses in North America and internationally. Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg via Getty Images
CALGARY - The National Energy Board has delayed the start-up of Enbridge Inc.'s newly reversed Line 9 pipeline as it seeks greater assurances that waterways will be protected.

Line 9 had been targeted to begin shipping western crude between southern Ontario and Montreal in early November, but it's looking like that will be pushed back by at least a few months.

Company spokesman Graham White says it's too soon to say how long the delay will be, but a letter from the NEB this week suggests it will be a matter of months, as the company will need to file new information to the board at least 90 days before it can apply for final permission to open the pipeline.

In its letter, the NEB says it's "not persuaded" Enbridge meets the requirements of one of the conditions that were attached to the project's approval in March.

Condition 16 has to do with where valves are placed in relation to water crossings, and the NEB says it appears only six of the 104 water crossings identified by Enbridge have a valves installed within a kilometre of both sides.

Line 9, between Sarnia, Ont. and Montreal, originally flowed in a west-to-east direction when it was built in the 1970s, but that was reversed in the late 1990s in response to changing market conditions; Enbridge has completed most of the work required to restore Line 9 to its original configuration so that eastern refineries can have access to more Alberta crude.

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