Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Enbridge ordered to remedy emergency shutdown gear at pump stations by 2016

Nathan VanderKlippe/The Globe and Mail

Canada's energy regulator has given Enbridge Inc., one of the country's two pipeline giants, until 2016 to comply with rules tied to its emergency shutdown requirements – demands the watchdog made after finding 117 of 125 pump stations across the country were not up to snuff.

The National Energy Board approved Enbridge's proposed plan last week after determining a number of the company's pump stations lacked emergency shutdown push-buttons and an alternate source of power needed to operate the shutdowns.

Enbridge's regulatory shortcomings arrive as energy companies face fierce opposition, with critics pointing fingers at the industry's stumbles. However, while the NEB found Enbridge violated the rules, the regulator also admits it only recently started pursuing investigations tied to emergency shutdown mechanisms.

Story continues below advertisement

"In the past, it was thought that this requirement could be met as long as an uninterruptible power supply was available," Carole Léger-Kubeczek, a spokeswoman for the NEB said Monday, noting the regulator approved Enbridge's corrective action proposal last week.

"Over time, it became apparent that having an uninterruptible power supply would not provide sufficient power to remotely close station isolation valves, and that the ability to remotely close station isolation valves was required in order to meet this particular regulation which is part of the [Onshore Pipeline Regulations].

"As a result, the board began pursuing this non-compliance with companies, in order to provide clarity regarding this regulatory requirement," she said.

Enbridge said it believed it was following the rules.

David Bryson, Enbridge's vice-president of strategy and integrated services, said the NEB noticed the problems as it inspected the pump stations between 2011 and 2012.

The pump stations already have battery backup power so that monitoring information can always be sent to a 24-hour-a-day control centre in Edmonton, he said.

But the NEB requires on-site generators as additional backup.

Story continues below advertisement

"We would never knowingly operate in non-compliance," Mr. Bryson said. The company believed the battery backup it already had in place "satisfied the intent of the code," he said.

"Obviously the NEB has clarified that for us, which is why we're putting together an action plan to add additional backup power."

Enbridge will have to buy equipment, he said.

"We suspect that this is a wider issue than just Enbridge," he added.

Enbridge this month told the NEB it is done installing emergency shut-down push-buttons at all of its stations. It will take three stages to meet the requirements tied to alternate power sources.

Fifty-three pump stations will be completed by 2014, another 49 pump stations and terminals by 2015 and the last 26 stations and terminals by 2016, the NEB said last week.

Story continues below advertisement

"The board is satisfied that the [correction action plan] proposed by Enbridge is reasonable considering the magnitude of the work required to address the non-compliances," NEB secretary Sheri Young wrote in a May 2 letter to Enbridge's chief executive Al Monaco.

The NEB may inspect other companies, the NEB's Ms. Léger-Kubeczek said.

"The board is currently continuing its efforts to make this regulatory requirement understood across industry and it intends to pursue other non-compliances on an ongoing basis."

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies