Enbridge defends pump station safety

Enbridge attempted to allay fears the pumping station slated for a location just south of Fort St. James is a potential problem.

The proposed location for a pipeline pumping station would be fairly close to some residences on Airport Road.

Enbridge attempted to allay fears the pumping station slated for a location just south of Fort St. James is a potential problem.

The proposed location for a pipeline pumping station would be fairly close to some residences on Airport Road.

Recent spills on the Keystone Pipeline, a pipeline pumping oil to the United States run by TransCanada Corporation, raised questions about the safety of having a pumping station near Fort St. James.

However, the spills associated with pumping stations are usually resulting from the equipment, and not the pipeline itself, according to Paul Stanway, Enbridge spokesperson.

“These are actually the easier incidents to deal with because they’re on Enbridge property and we can deal with them without any impact on the surrounding  environment at all,” said Stanway.

“I think they can be very confident that Enbridge has a very good track record of dealing with these incidents at pump stations.”

The government Joint Review Panel will be looking at potential impacts of the proposed project, and this includes impacts from pumping stations.

On June 21, an information session is being held at the Stuart Lake Seniors Recreation Centre at 7 p.m. for people to learn how the review panel process will work.

The Joint Review panel is an independent body mandated as part of the approval process for the project by the Minister of the Environment and the National Energy Board.

It will be looking for input from members of communities potentially impacted by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

The review panel will be compiling input on the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.

The projects proposes two 1,170 km pipelines between Bruderheim, Alberta and a marine terminal in Kitimat, B.C.

The pipeline from east to west would send bitumen, a precursor of crude oil, mixed with what they call diluent.

Diluent is what thins the thick, unrefined bitumen enough to pump it through the pipeline.

The pipeline from west to east would return the diluent to be reused.

The diluent itself is made up of different hydrocarbons which are the lighter components of oil such as benzene, forms of naphtha and pentane.

 

While benzene especially is a high-risk carcinogen, and forms of naphtha are carcinogenic, they are also found in gasoline, and other common products.