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Canada needs to provide pipline information to public, expert says

November 06, 2013
KEYWORDS oil pipelines
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Canadian authorities need to catch up with their U.S. counterparts when it comes to making pipeline safety data public, a non-profit group advocating pipeline safety has claimed.

According to Carl Weimer, executive director of the Washington-based Pipeline Safety Trust, the lack of information about pipelines in Canada is "shocking." If the country's regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), was to be assessed under the trust's transparency criteria used in the United States it would score a low nine out of 30, Weimer told oil and gas industry representatives at a safety forum organized by the NEB. There is also no public information available about pipeline accidents in Canada, and this is a problem that the regulator should consider, he added.

RELATED: Pipelines safest mode of transport for oil, study finds

In response, the NEB's head of business operations Patrick Smythe agreed that information may not always be accessible or available online. But he stated that anyone could request information from the NEB and it will be provided, the CBC News reported.

There are maps available for each individual pipeline provided by operating companies but there is no comprehensive database or a map of the entire pipeline network. By contrast, the United States allows everyone to go online and view a detailed map of all working or abandoned pipes with an accuracy of about 150 meters. The National Pipeline Mapping System also gives users the option to search by operator and pipeline name and even gives details about the status of the pipeline, the CBC said.
 

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