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NEWS: Enbridge broke NEB safety rules for Line 9 pipeline

CBC reports, “The biggest oil and gas pipeline company in Canada is breaking National Energy Board safety rules at 117 of its 125 pump stations across the country, but Enbridge says it’s not to blame. Enbridge was ordered by the Canadian energy regulator to disclose whether or not it had backup power to operate emergency shut-down systems in the facilities that keep oil flowing through its pipes. The company told the NEB only eight of its pump stations complied with the board’s backup power system regulation. On top of that, Enbridge disclosed that 83 of its pump stations were missing emergency shut-down buttons.”

“The regulations are anywhere from 14 to 19 years old … but the NEB admits that it has only just started to concentrate inspections on regulations covering backup power and shut-down systems. …In the case of backup power, that rule has been on the books since 1999. The emergency shut-down button has been a must since at least 1994.”

“The problems with Enbridge’s pipeline safety came to light in 2011 during an NEB inspection of facilities on the company’s Line 9 pipeline between Sarnia, Ont., and Montreal and at its Edmonton terminal. Inspectors found that the terminals at Edmonton, Sarnia and Westover (near Hamilton, Ont.) and pump stations at Westover and Terrebonne (near Montreal) were missing emergency shut-down buttons. The pump stations were also missing backup power systems.”

“Enbridge has since installed emergency shut-down buttons at all 83 pump stations. It also has an NEB-approved plan to retrofit all 117 pump stations with backup power although no timeline has been made public for when facilities will be brought in line with regulations.” The Globe and Mail adds, “Canada’s energy regulator has given Enbridge Inc. until 2016 to comply with rules tied to its emergency shutdown requirements – demands the watchdog made after finding 117 of 125 pump stations across the country were not up to snuff. …Fifty-three pump stations will be completed by 2014, another 49 pump stations and terminals by 2015 and the last 26 stations and terminals by 2016, the NEB said last week.”

Meanwhile, the Hamilton Spectator reports, “A group of activists from across Southern Ontario were heard loud and clear Monday as they blockaded Highway 6 just north of Waterdown. At the peak of the protest over Enbridge’s controversial Line 9 oil pipeline proposal just before noon, traffic was slowed to a crawl on the usually busy highway. Six OPP cruisers and two Hamilton police cars were on the scene as officers helped to get traffic moving after the protesters staged a mock oil spill at the site where the company’s pipeline passes under the highway. …The group of about 45 people slowed traffic for 90 minutes; one minute for each of the significant spills it claims Enbridge Pipelines has each year. Their actions included a simulated oil spill and ‘ineffective cleanup’. They also handed out flyers and muffins to the drivers who slowly made their way through their protest.”

That newspaper article adds, “‘Our voices haven’t been heard on this issue’, said organizer Elysia Petrone. ‘We just wanted to spread the word.'” Petrone is a Council of Canadians Hamilton chapter activist.

For more, please read:
UPDATE: Council of Canadians undaunted by paperwork in Line 9 campaign
NEWS: Council of Canadians applies for NEB intervenor status on Line 9 pipeline
VIEW: Laxer opposes west-to-east pipeline proposals