Pipeline Safety Report Inadequate, Raises More Questions

August 23, 2013

EDMONTON – New Democrat Environment critic Rachel Notley responded to the release of the government-controlled pipeline safety review, saying the report is inadequate and renewing the NDP’s call for a transparent, comprehensive review of pipeline safety by the Auditor General of Alberta.

Notley noted that because this report was government-controlled, it is short on unbiased analysis. Nonetheless, she said that the report confirmed an absence of standards in Alberta around pipeline safety at water crossings and pipeline safety inspection frequency. In recommending additional resources at the regulator, the reviewers suggest that there is not enough staff to ensure that Alberta’s land and water is protected.

The huge gap in the report is its failure to evaluate how well the regulator enforces its own regulations,” said Notley. “They can have all they want on paper, but if it’s never properly enforced, it’s meaningless to Albertans when they wake up to find a pool of oil in their backyard.  Alison Redford’s government cannot be trusted to stand up for the health and safety of Alberta families when it comes to their friends and funders in the energy industry.”

Notley also said the report is undermined by its authors’ failure to consult with Albertans other than pipeline operators and the regulator.

“We know that there are very serious, systemic issues facing pipeline integrity in Canada, as outlined in both the federal and the Saskatchewan auditor general reports,” said Notley.

Notley noted that she would be writing to the Auditor General, asking him, once again, to engage in a comprehensive review of pipeline safety, including the quality of enforcement in Alberta.