NEB online map tracks pipeline trouble

Interactive tool unveiled by federal pipeline regulator shows only recent spills, excludes small ones

Image from National Energy Board interactive map of pipeline incidents.

The National Energy Board has launched an online interactive map that shows the locations and details of pipeline incidents such as oil spills and gas releases.

The map shows 65 incidents in B.C. since 2008, which is as far back as the data goes, and offers almost no details.

Most of the B.C. incidents involve gas pipeline releases or fires, mainly in northeastern B.C.

It shows four pipeline spills of oil in B.C. over the last seven years from Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline – a 305-cubic-metre spill in Burnaby after a malfunction at the tank farm in 2009, a 90-cubic-metre spill of crude oil at the Sumas tank farm near Abbotsford in 2012, a 2013 release of four cubic metres of oil near Hope and an 11-cubic-metre release of waste oil near Kamloops in 2011.

But only one of those spills is classified as a “significant incident” – the smaller one at Hope in 2013.

Trans Mountain is also listed for operating the pipeline beyond design limits in 2012 and for a 2010 incident in Burnaby categorized as a serious injury.

Not included on the map are significant pre-2008 spills, particularly the 2007 Burnaby spill of 224 cubic metres of heavy crude that partly reached Burrard Inlet after the pipeline was ruptured by a backhoe, and the 2005 Ward Road spill of 246 cubic metres at the Sumas tank farm.

Trans Mountain has posted a chart on its website showing a more comprehensive history of those and other spills dating back to 1961.

The NEB says its map will be updated quarterly as new incidents occur or reports are revised.

NEB chair Peter Watson said the new tool demonstrates the federal regulator’s “increasing commitment to transparency.”

The map can be zoomed and filtered to display incidents by specific years or incident types.

It can be found at http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/sftnvrnmnt/sft/dshbrd/mp/index-eng.html.

Pipeline expansion opponent Lynn Perrin of the Pipe Up Network noted the NEB map doesn’t include smaller pipeline seeps and leaks of amounts below the reporting threshold of 1.5 cubic metres.

“I don’t think it gives the whole picture,” Perrin said. “The smaller spills can also be harmful. It doesn’t take very much oil to cause quite a bit of damage, especially to fish and some of the endangered aquatic species.”

The NEB’s review of Kinder Morgan’s proposal to twin the Trans Mountain pipeline remains under steady fire from critics who consider it unfair.

Seven B.C. cities, including Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and North Vancouver, last month signed a joint declaration of non-confidence in the NEB process and demanded it be halted.

Just Posted

Team BC’s having fun, ‘feeling good’ about back-to-back victories

A junior curling team, based out of Langley, has yet to lose a game in the national championships.

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

VIDEO: ‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Teravainen’s 3 points lift Hurricanes to 5-2 win over Canucks

Vancouver heads into all-star break on losing note

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

Most Read