2011 report criticized TransCanada’s ‘inadequate’ inspections
A CBC News investigation has unearthed a critical report that the federal regulator effectively buried for several years about a rupture on a trouble-prone TransCanada natural gas pipeline.
On July 20, 2009, the Peace River Mainline in northern Alberta exploded, sending 50-metre-tall flames into the air and razing a two-hectare wooded area.
|On July 20, 2009, the Peace River Mainline in northern Alberta exploded, sending 50-metre-tall flames into the air and razing a two-hectare wooded area. (Courtesy of Dene Tha' First Nation)|
Few people ever learned of the rupture — one of the largest in the past decade — other than the Dene Tha’ First Nation, whose traditional territory it happened on.
In an early 2011 draft report about the incident, the National Energy Board criticized TransCanada, the operator of the line owned by its subsidiary NOVA Gas Transmission, for “inadequate” field inspections and “ineffective” management.
Final reports are typically published by the investigative bodies, either the NEB or the Transportation Safety Board, but this report wasn’t released until this January when the CBC obtained it through an access-to-information request.
The NEB said the delay was caused by an “administrative error” when an employee left without transferring the file over.
In a written statement, TransCanada said there's a combination of construction, coating and soil factors that have required an "active pipe integrity program" on this pipeline. The company said it instituted new technologies and new approaches after the rupture that have since prevented a reoccurrence.
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- Submitted by Gareth