NDP renews calls for independent review of pipeline safety after US regulator calls Enbridge “Keystone Cops”

July 10, 2012

 Edmonton… NDP Environment critic Rachel Notley said Alberta’s Conservatives are selling out Albertans if they don’t take a lesson from the National Transportation Safety Board’s report today.  Notley renewed her called for an independent public review of regulatory oversight of Alberta’s massive pipeline system.


Notley referenced the observation made by the NTSB Chairperson Deborah Hersman, where Hersman said “delegating too much authority to the regulated to assess their own system risks and correct them is tantamount to the fox guarding the henhouse.”


“Conservative environmental protection has always been weak,” Notley said.  “It’s always been more about press releases and polished PR campaigns than about actually getting boots on the ground, and regulations on the books.  But when we see repeated failures on the part of pipeline companies, both the environment and industry sustainability are put at risk.”


Alberta’s pipeline system rests almost entirely on industry self-regulation.  Notley noted that the ERCB employs a mere 90 inspectors to oversee 400,000 kilometers of pipeline and over 200,000 active wells.


“As things stand now, we are closing our eyes, crossing our fingers, and hoping for the best,” Notley said.  “Albertans deserve better.”



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