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NEWS: TransCanada fails to comply with pipeline construction regulations

CBC reports, “A former TransCanada engineer says he reported its substandard practices to the federal energy regulator because he believed the company’s management, right up to the chief executive officer, refused to act on his complaints. …Evan Vokes said he raised concerns about the competency of some pipeline inspectors and the company’s lack of compliance with welding regulations set by the National Energy Board, the federal energy industry regulator. …Vokes said, ‘And I received increasingly pressured emails about how things were OK to do it that way.’”

“Vokes said he refused to back down and the workplace friction eventually took its toll. …Vokes went on stress leave in November 2011. In March 2012, he met with top National Energy Board officials and on May 1, he filed a formal written complaint with the NEB. TransCanada fired him on May 8.”

“Last Friday (October 12), the NEB issued a public letter to TransCanada without naming Vokes, it said ‘many of the allegations of regulatory non-compliance identified by the complainant were verified by TransCanada’s internal audit’. …The regulator warned the company it would not tolerate further infractions of regulations related to welding inspections, the training of pipeline inspectors and internal engineering standards. It also announced a further audit of the company’s inspection and engineering procedures.”

“A subsidiary of Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. is proposing to build the controversial $12-billion (Keystone XL) pipeline to transport 830,000 barrels a day of mostly Alberta oilsands crude to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.”

As has been widely-reported, including on the front-page of the New York Times, a Tar Sands Blockade is now underway in Texas in an attempt to stop TransCanada from constructing the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline, http://canadians.org/blog/?p=17216.

The CBC report can be read at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/10/16/transcanada-whistleblower-neb.html.