By Laura Keil
With a possible expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on the horizon, new data on Canada’s major pipelines shows 1,050 reported incidents over the last 12 years, but only two in the Robson Valley.
The information comes from an access-to-information request, first obtained by CBC News. The data set shows every pipeline safety incident reported to Canada’s federal pipeline regulator, The National Energy Board, from 2002-2012.
The data includes the Trans Mountain Pipeline that runs through Mt. Robson Park and the Valemount area.
According to this data, the closest spills or leaks were in Hay River, Alta, and Clearwater. No spills or leaks were reported in the Robson Valley from 2002-2012.
The pipeline rupture south of Hay River near Rainbow Lake in 2009 consisted of 1.45 billion litres of Natural Gas escaping from the Peace River Mainline operated by NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.
Last year, Trans Mountain Pipeline, operated by Kinder Morgan Canada, reported less than 0.1 litres had escaped from their Darfield Pump Station near Clearwater, caused by an over pressure at the Blackpool Pump Station.
In Kamloops in 2011, someone spotted oil in a ditch at the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Kamloops Terminal. The company discovered oil leaking from a dia Meter pipe, a return line for waste oil. The company approximated that 11,000 litres escaped.
The only incidents in the Robson Valley pertained to workplace safety. Two serious injuries of workers occurred in 2008 while working on the Trans Mountain pipeline. One worker broke his ankle, and the other suffered major “disabling injuries” including fractures of the pelvis, ribs, sternum, cheeks, jaw and the operator’s tongue was severed off after being crushed by a boom.
The National Energy Board oversees cross-border pipelines. The data doesn’t include smaller pipelines within provincial boundaries.
CBC reported that the rate of overall incidents has doubled in the past decade.