More info submitted for pipeline project

  • Apr. 5, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Following a request made by the Joint Review Panel for more information, Enbridge Northern Gateway submitted more information for their application last Friday.

Clarifications the panel was looking for included market considerations, impacts the environment would have on the project (such as land slides and fires), as well as a more detailed oil spill response plan.

“We would like to keep this process moving forward, we support it strongly so we want to demonstrate that by filing these updates as efficiently as we could,” Enbridge spokesperson Paul Stanway said.

The additional submission includes 39 additional files, one of which shows potential full-bore rupture releases and spill extents for a hypothetical spill.  Nine submissions are around river and creek crossings.

“That’s an area of sensitivity and we recognize that, and there are a significant number of river crossings,” Stanway said. “We want to make sure everybody understands the engineering we’ve put in place for the river crossings will be robust enough for the terrain that we’re talking about.”

Their more detailed General Oil Spill Response Plan was developed by looking at other pipelines around the world.

“We’ve looked at situations where people have had great successes and attempted to use their best practices,” Stanway said.

As the marine aspect of this project is new to them, they also looked to marine safety from around the world, mostly in Scotland and Norway, Stanway said.

“They’ve had an incredible track record over the last 30 years and haven’t had a major incident of any description, so we’ve taken their best practices and incorporated them into the marine safety aspects of the project,” Stanway said.

According to the plan, in the case of an initial response, regional management would first record information from the caller, then shut down and isolate the source system and dispatch a first responder. If an emergency were then confirmed, senior management would be called, and regional management would activate the ICS and mobilize response personnel.

The full oil spill response plan, as well as all the 39 additional submissions made by Northern Gateway, are available on the National Energy Board website, www.neb-one.gc.ca.

Stanway encouraged interested parties to go check out the information. Any comments on their submission would go to the JRP, however there’s no reason why they shouldn’t feel free to ask Enbridge as well, Stanway said.

They’re continuing their public discussions as the project moves forward in a number of ways, including the Community Advisory Boards, so there may be feedback from those as well.

“That’s good, that’s what we want is a vigorous public discussion,” Stanway said. “Our attitude has always been that the more that people know about this project, the more comfortable they will be.”