Update: Alberta Pipeline Spill Risk Concerns
March 1, 2017
March 2017 Wildlands Advocate article, by Carolyn Campbell
On February 21, 2017, the Alberta Ener-gy Regulator (AER) released a new Pipeline Performance Report. The AER reported spills and ‘hits’ (where no substance is ac-tually released) for the 420,000 kilometres of pipelines it oversees, a distance about ten times the earth’s circumference. The report provides totals for ‘high’, ‘medium’, and ‘low’ consequence pipeline incidents annually since 2007. For 2015 and 2016, it also reports incidents by company, with some description of each incident, such as spill volume, type of substance released, consequence rating, and area affected. While this report is a step forward in transparency, significant concerns remain about the quality of AER’s pipeline spill data.