Safety and Environmental Performance Dashboard - March 2014
The safety of Canadians and protection of the environment in the construction, operation and abandonment of pipeline facilities regulated by the NEB are the Board’s top priorities, and have been a part of our mandate since 1959. We hold those we regulate accountable so that the safety of Canadians and the environment is protected.
In 2013, the NEB regulated approximately 73,000 kilometres of interprovincial and international pipelines. See a map of the NEB’s regulated pipelines. The safety and environmental performance data and information that follows relates to the NEB’s regulated pipelines.
 Total kms include pipeline that is approved, under construction, operational, deactivated, decommissioned, and pending abandonment.
Under the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR), companies must immediately notify the National Energy Board (NEB) of any incident that relates to the construction, operation or abandonment of a pipeline.
Incident means an occurrence that results in:
- the death of or serious injury to a person;
- a significant adverse effect on the environment (referred to below as significant adverse effects);
- an unintended fire or explosion;
- an unintended or uncontained release of low vapour pressure hydrocarbons (referred to below as Liquid releases) in excess of 1.5 m³;
- an unintended or uncontrolled release of gas or high vapour pressure hydrocarbons (referred to below as Gas releases); and,
- the operation of a pipeline beyond its design limits (OBDL).
To enhance the analysis of the reportable incident data, the NEB has separated serious injuries incidents from fatalities, and unintended fires from unintended explosions.
Figure 1: Number of Incidents, 2009-2014
Figure 1: Details
- Figure 1 shows the number of reportable incidents from 2009 through the first three months of 2014. From January through March, 2014 there were 28 reportable incidents under the OPR.
|Year||Total Number of Reportable Incidents|
Figure 2: Number of Incidents by Type, 2013 vs. 2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 2: Details
- Figure 2 compares the number of reportable incidents by type in 2013 to the first quarter of 2014.
- There were no explosions or significant adverse effects incidents in 2013; these have increased to 1 and 3 reportable incidents, respectively.
- There were no serious injuries, fatalities or operation beyond design limits reported in the first three months of 2014.
- Most reportable incidents do not result in threats to the safety of people or the environment.
|Year||Gas Releases||Fires||Explosions||Serious Injuries||Significant Adverse Effects||Fatalities||Liquid Releases||OBDL|
Figure 3: Number of Serious Injuries 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 3: Details
- There were no serious injuries in the first quarter of 2014.
Figure 4: Number of Fatalities, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 4: Details
- There were no fatalities in the first quarter of 2014.
Figure 5: Number of Operation Beyond Design Limits (OBDL) Incidents, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 5: Details
- There were no operation beyond design limits-related incidents in the first quarter of 2014.
Figure 6: Number of Fires and Explosions, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 6: Details
- There were five reportable fires from January through March. Three of these fires were equipment and electrical-related, one was a tidiness-related issue (a fire began in a cigarette ash receptacle on company property). The other fire related to a pipeline rupture, which did not result in any injuries or wildlife impacts, but did require nearby residents to be temporarily evacuated as a precaution.
- The only reportable explosion occurred during one of the three equipment and electrical-related fires. There were no injuries or impacts to the environment – the incident occurred on company property.
Figure 7: Total Volumes of Liquids Released Vs. Number of Liquid Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 7: Details
- Five reportable liquid releases occurred in the first quarter of 2014 (four were crude oil releases totaling 34.75 m³ and one was an 'other' product release (transmission oil) totaling 2 m³). Three companies reported these five releases and the reasons for the releases are all different.
- Three of the liquid releases were equipment-related: one was due to a failed flex hose, another occurred during maintenance activities and involved a 2” fitting and the last incident involved a failed gasket. Of the other two incidents, one release was due to a failed electrical component at a compressor station and the other release incident was due to a failure to follow procedures while off-loading oil from a truck.
- In four of the five incidents the product released was entirely contained within company property. In the remaining incident, a light spray of crude oil was found on top of a layer of snow off company property, all of the released product has been recovered and all offsite impacts were cleaned up.
|Year||Total Volume Released (m³)||# of Releases|
Figure 7(a): On/Off Company Property Liquid Releases by Location, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 7(a): Details
- With the five liquid releases in 2014, all of which occurred on company property, the total number of on-company property releases from 2009 to the end of March 2014 increased from 28 to 33.
- One of the releases involved some crude oil spraying from the company’s property onto the top layer of snow on the land adjacent to the pump station.
|On Company Property||Off Company Property|
Figure 8: Number of Natural Gas and Other High Vapour Pressure Releases, 2009-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 8: Details
- There were 14 reportable natural gas releases from January through March. Of these, 10 were sweet natural gas, 2 were acid gas, 1 sour gas and 1 'other' gas.
- One sweet natural gas release was a multiple-consequence event in which a reportable fire also occurred. This relates to the rupture event referred to in Figure 6.
Please note that ruptures are a type of unintended or uncontrolled liquid or gas release incident. For more detailed information on ruptures, please refer to the Pipeline Ruptures section of the NEB’s website.
The Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II (PCR) require all NEB-regulated pipeline companies to report every unauthorized activity (UA). UAs are contraventions of the PCR, Part I and are grouped into three categories by NEB staff:
- Ground disturbance, which includes excavation activities;
- Encroachment activities, including stockpiling materials (e.g. sand, loam, etc.), building structures or facilities (e.g. sheds, swimming pools, skating rinks, etc.) on the RoW; and,
- Vehicle crossings in which vehicles or construction equipment operate on or across the RoW without permission.
Figure 9: Number of UAs by Province, 2013-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 9: Details
- Approximately three-quarters of the UAs reported between January and March of 2014 occurred in Alberta. The UAs in Alberta included 3 ground disturbances, 3 encroachments and 2 vehicle crossings. The UAs in Ontario and British Columbia were both ground disturbances. The UA in Quebec was a vehicle crossing.
Figure 10: Number of UAs by Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 10: Details
- The data from January to March shows that ground disturbance continues to be the most prevalent type of UA.
Figure 11: Number of UAs by Violator Type, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 11: Details
- Consistent with trends from 2010 through 2013, contractors continue to be the leading type of violator through the first quarter of 2014, followed by landowners and municipalities.
Figure 12: Number of UAs by First-time Vs. Repeat Violators, 2010-2014 (Jan-Mar)
Figure 12: Details
- The trend in the number of first-time vs. repeat violators appears to shift in the first three months of 2014 as compared to 2010 through 2013, with more repeat violators than first-time violators.
- However, when comparing January through March of 2014 against the same period in 2013, the same result occurred (i.e., there were more repeat violators than first-time violators).
Please note: The incident data shown represents a single point in time. As new information becomes available, the incident record is updated and may change certain aspects of the incident record including whether the incident remains reportable under the applicable regulations. Accordingly, the incident data shown is subject to change.
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