Enbridge Violates National Safety Rules, Says Not to Blame


B. McPherson


The biggest petroleum pipeline corporation in Canada, Enbridge, has safety deficiencies in 117 out of 125 pump stations across Canada according to the National Energy Safety Board. It is a requirement that each pump station have emergency power backup to operate shut-down procedures. You may recall that it took Enbridge hours to shut down the pipe spewing bitumen into the Kalamazoo River. Eight stations across the country complied with that safety regulation.

Of the 125 stations inspected, 83 lacked an emergency shut-down button. These regulations have been in place for at least 14 years. The regulation requiring an emergency shut-down button has been on the books since 1994.

For its part, spokesman for the pipeline company, Graham White, said that it is a matter of interpretation of the rules. Battery power was in place at the stations, but this is deemed insufficient. The corporation has since installed the emergency equipment and is working towards complying with the electrical backup regs. They have until 2016 to complete compliance.

Attention of the Energy Board focussed on the eastern Enbridge pipelines as talk emerged about possibly sending dilbit to Canada’s east coast.  The uncovering of deficiencies in the safety regulations of this pipeline company will probably lead to closer scrutiny of others transporting petroleum products across the country.
Yesterday protesters delayed traffic near Hamilton, Ontario, to distribute pamphlets and stage a mock clean up of spilled oil. They were trying to bring attention to the proposal to reverse the flow of product in Pipeline 9 to carry dilbit to refineries on the east coast. 

Enbridge is proposing the building of the Northern Gateway Pipeline to take dilbit from the Alberta oil sand deposit to the west coast of British Columbia. It has met with stiff opposition. The province will be holding an election on May 14th and the person expected to become the next premier has declared that he will not allow it to be built. 

If you build it, it will leak.

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