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The National Energy Board investigates TransCanada over pipeline safety-code violations

The company behind the proposed Energy East pipeline is being investigated by the National Energy Board.

Reuters reports, “Canada’s energy regulator is investigating up to a dozen new allegations of natural gas pipeline safety-code violations at TransCanada Corp, according to documents reviewed by Reuters. The regulator, the National Energy Board, and the company confirmed an investigation is under way but offered few details of the allegations. …Documents reviewed by Reuters showed the allegations include faulty or delayed repairs, sloppy welding work and a failure to report key issues to the regulator.”

The article adds, “The company’s safety practices previously came under scrutiny over allegations raised publicly in 2012 by a former employee, Evan Vokes, who worked as an engineer for the company for five years. …Those allegations prompted a major NEB audit released in February, 2014, that confirmed some of the former employee’s complaints and called on the company to address its oversight weaknesses in areas such as risk assessment, inspections and management review.”

In October 2014, the Council of Canadians presented Vokes with a ‘Special Award for Whistleblowing’ at our annual conference in Hamilton. For more on that, please see our blog Council of Canadians recognizes Evan Vokes with Whistleblower award.

The dozen new allegations of safety-code violations and the NEB’s previous ruling that TransCanada has shortcomings in its practices related to risk assessment, inspections and management review are prompting further concerns about the safety and likelihood of spills from the company’s proposed 4,600 kilometre long 1.1 million barrel per day Energy East pipeline.

The Council of Canadians argues that the Energy East pipeline should be evaluated on the basis of the company’s safety record, not its promises to be safe.

For more on our campaign against the Energy East pipeline, please click here.