Pembina Pipeline cleared of fault in oil line break

Pembina Pipeline Corp. has been cleared of all fault in relation to an oil pipeline break under the Red Deer River on June 15 of last year.

Pembina Pipeline Corp. has been cleared of all fault in relation to an oil pipeline break under the Red Deer River on June 15 of last year.

The Energy Resources Conservation Board released a report blaming extreme rainfall for the break at a river crossing about five km north of Sundre.

“This incident happened because of an unprecedented level of rain,” ERCB communications officer Davis Sheremata said on Tuesday.

“That led to an incredible flow of water that uncovered the pipeline, submitted it to excessive external stress and led to the failure,” said Sheremata.

Subsequent investigation showed that the Red Deer River is in a delta at the area of the break, joining with a number of tributaries that were all affected by the extreme flooding, he said.

“At the end of the day, we believe that Pembina did not contravene our regulations in any way, so no enforcement action is required against them.”

The company estimated that 28.1 cubic metres (177 barrels) of oil were released into the river as a result of the break.

ERCB’s report states that there was a delay in closing the valve, which “may have contributed” to additional oil being released into the water before the spill was contained. Company officials estimated that the delay contributed about 10 cubic metres of the total amount of oil spilled.

Oil spilled from the break travelled 33 km downstream, into Gleniffer Lake. The lake was subsequently closed to boaters while people in the area were warned not to use local water sources.

Propane-powered “scare cannons” were used to warn wildlife away from oily shorelines while crews from Western Canada Spill Service began work on cleaning up the spill.

Cleanup was completed on June 25, with boaters allowed back onto the lake the following day.

Pembina Pipelines continued trucking potable water into the area until June 27, when health officials declared the water safe for consumption and reopened water intakes.

The ERCB estimates that a total of 23.55 cubic metres (148 barrels) of oil was recovered from the failed pipeline.

A diversion channel was excavated later in the summer and a dam was built, with the river diverted by July 27, enabling construction of a new trench. The damaged pipeline was removed and about 800 metres of new pipeline installed in August.

Although Pembina is not being held at fault for the break, ERCB has issued a bulletin advising all pipeline companies to be especially vigilant in inspecting and monitoring river crossings during the next few weeks, as ice starts to break up and rivers become subject to flooding.

Details of the ERCB report are available online at www.ercb.ca

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Councillors want to represent Red Deer at AUMA

City council approves endorsement

Cannabis smoke raises health concerns

Smoke Free Bylaw returns to Red Deer city council Sept. 4

Avid Penhold climber Catlin Hannah’s death a reminder of the dangers of scrambling

Hannah never returned from his Mount Smuts attempt on Aug. 12.

Children, elderly at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

VANCOUVER — Thick smoke blanketing British Columbia communities far from any flames… Continue reading

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Police chiefs want new data-sharing treaty with U.S. as privacy questions linger

OTTAWA — Canada’s police chiefs are pressing the Trudeau government to sign… Continue reading

Pope on sex abuse: “We showed no care for the little ones”

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the… Continue reading

Ottawa announces $189M to extend employment insurance for seasonal workers

ESCUMINAC, N.B. — Ottawa has announced $189 million for an employment insurance… Continue reading

Trudeau formally announces he’ll run again in next year’s election

MONTREAL — Justin Trudeau will run again in the 2019 federal election.… Continue reading

Smoke from B.C. wildfires prompts air quality advisories across Western Canada

VANCOUVER — More smoky, hazy air is expected to blanket much of… Continue reading

Anti-pipeline protesters released days before weeklong jail sentences end

MAPLE RIDGE, B.C. — Several pipeline protesters were released from a British… Continue reading

All eyes on Andrew Scheer as Conservative convention set for Halifax

OTTAWA — After a week of internal caucus squabbles, Conservative Leader Andrew… Continue reading

Trump says his White House counsel not a ‘RAT’ like Nixon’s

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his White House… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month