Pipeline incidents in Canada have doubled since 2000

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

The rate went from one for every 1,000 kilometres of federally-regulated pipeline to two in that time period.

The documents, which were released through an Access to Information request, include details on 1,047 pipeline safety incidents from January 1, 2000 until late 2012. They run down everything from unintentional fires, serious injuries, to spills over 1,500 liters and every gas leak. Data from smaller pipelines monitored by provinces instead of the NEB are not included. 

The energy regulator explains the rise in incidents is from an increased awareness about what needs to be reported. 

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“We’ve been out there talking with industry associations and the companies themselves to ensure that they are fully aware of what the reporting requirements are and I think that’s why we’re seeing an increase right now,” NEB’s Business Leader for Operations Patrick Smythe told the CBC. 

Also seen in the data is an increase in reported product spills and leaks, from more than four per 10,000 kilometres in 2000 to 13 in 2011. The CBC reports that the most incidents have occurred in British Columbia, with 279 recorded events from 2000 to 2012, while there were 244 in Alberta. According to an interactive map of the incidents, the most in this province were in the Peace Region, including Taylor and Chetwynd, as well as Fort Nelson.

The full CBC article can be read by clicking here, and the interactive map can be found here.

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