Oct 28 (Reuters) – The rate of security-associated incidents on federally regulated pipelines in Canada doubled over the past decade, whereas the rate of reported spills and leaks was up threefold, according to an investigative report by Canada’s nationwide broadcaster.
The overall variety of incidents, which included all the things from spills to fires, swelled from forty five in 2000 to 142 in 2011, the CBC reported on Monday, citing information from the National Power Board (NEB) obtained by way of entry-to-information requests.
That translated to a doubling from one incident for each 1,000 km (620 miles) of federally-regulated pipeline in 2000, to two in 2011.
The CBC investigation additionally discovered that the speed of product reported releases – spills and leaks – rose threefold, from four releases for each 10,000 km in 2000, to 13 in 2011.
The NEB regulates all pipelines that cross provincial or worldwide borders, but does not monitor smaller pipelines that are solely in a single province.
The security of shipping petroleum products through pipelines has grow to be a scorching matter in recent times, with firms like Enbridge Inc and TransCanada Corp growing main new projects to move crude from Canada’s oil sands to markets in the United States and Asia.
Opponents say a pipeline leak can cause catastrophic environmental damage and infrequently cite a 2010 incident the place an Enbridge pipeline carrying crude from Alberta ruptured, spilling enormous quantities of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.
But pipeline firms say their operations are safer than the choice – transferring oil and fuel products by rail or truck.
Indeed, the safety of rail has turn out to be a central problem in Canada since a runaway prepare hauling crude oil derailed and exploded within the town of Lac-Megantic, Quebec in July, killing 47 people. Earlier this month, another train hauling crude oil and liquefied petroleum fuel derailed and caught fireplace in Alberta.
A current report by the Fraser Institute, a right-leaning assume tank, found that pipelines are safer for workers and that the chance of spill incidents is barely lower than with rail.
The CBC investigation looked at documents on 1,047 pipeline safety incidents from Jan. 1, 2000, till late 2012. Firms regulated by the NEB must report security points like deaths or critical accidents, fires and explosions, spills over 1,500 liters and each gas leak.
The NEB attributed the rise in incidents to heightened consciousness amongst corporations about reporting requirements, in keeping with the CBC. A spokesperson for the regulator was not immediately available for remark.