NEB Responds to Le Devoir article re: Enbridge Line 9B

Alexander Shields’ recent article on Enbridge’s Line 9B compels me to set the record straight as it contains misinformation that may unjustifiably alarm the public.

The author confuses inspections and repairs. Since December 2015, Enbridge has conducted over 60 inspections involving excavation work in Quebec and Ontario, and not 60 repairs as he wrote it. The National Energy Board (NEB) does not agree with the opinion of Mr. Richard Kuprewicz, who is cited as an expert in the article. Indeed, these inspections are an indicator of a healthy operation and maintenance program, and not a sign of pipeline degradation.

The NEB requires operators in Canada to regularly inspect their pipelines to identify anomalies, such as small deformations or signs of corrosion well before they become an issue. Whenever necessary, operators proceed to preventative maintenance work, which may involve recoating or installing a sleeve. More rarely, they may replace segments of the pipeline.

All of these activities are conducted by operators following robust environmental, health and safety and engineering standards. The normal practice also involves notifying adjacent landowners and local authorities, including first responders and municipalities, to inform them of the work taking place.

The NEB is committed to transparency and maintains open lines of communications with Indigenous groups, all levels of government, the public, and reporters.

Pipeline InspectionIn 2015, the NEB, the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (Greater Montreal Area) and Enbridge created a committee to further enhance the flow of technical and regulatory information regarding Line 9B. Last May, for instance, representatives of the CMM visited an excavation site in Terrebonne, Quebec to observe an inspection (photo). The NEB is committed to this agreement and will respond to the CMM’s most recent requests for information related to Mr. Shield’s article.

The NEB is satisfied that its decision to approve the reversal of the Line 9B is in Canada’s public interest and that all necessary steps have been taken to make sure that the pipeline operates safely.

The NEB would not allow operation of a pipeline unless it was safe.

Marc-André Plouffe, Director
Montreal Regional Office
National Energy Board

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