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Lack of detailed inspection led to Canada pipeline leak, report finds

19 December 2017

Lack of detailed inspection procedures contributed to the leak last March of about 60 barrels of oil from an Enbridge Pipelines storage tank in Sherwood Park , near Edmonton,  a Transportation Safety Board report released on December 19 said. An estimated 10 cubic metres of oil leaked into the tank’s secondary containment berm when a ball valve gasket was displaced, likely due to ice expansion. 

There was no evacuation or injuries. Emergency crews recovered all the product from the containment berm and the creek before it could reach the nearby North Saskatchewan River.

Although Enbridge does regular inspections, detailed procedures had not been introduced to help inspectors evaluate the condition of tank or berm components and determine whether they were suitable for continued service, the report found.

Following the leak, the company took action to make sure the components are thoroughly inspected and reviewed its maintenance procedures, hazard assessment and emergency response plans.

The National Energy Board, which is responsible for regulating pipelines, monitored the clean-up process and reviewed the incident to verify Enbridge’s compliance with regulatory requirements, ensuring the company took adequate corrective, preventive and safety actions, the report said.

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