Oct. 23, 2014
Enbridge's first priority is the protection of people and the environment, including our waterways. Recently, the National Energy Board (NEB) asked Enbridge for additional information about our plans to protect major water crossings along Line 9.
While Enbridge designed and has for decades operated the line to protect people and the environment, we welcome the opportunity to more clearly explain to the NEB and stakeholders how our valve placement program helps protect all waterways along the pipeline route. We submitted a letter to the NEB detailing our rigorous approach to isolation valve placement, which is designed to ensure that we not only meet, but exceed regulatory standards.
"The safety of the environment – and particularly our water crossings – is important to us all," says Guy Jarvis, president of Enbridge Liquids Pipelines. "That’s why we added 17 valves to Line 9 as part of our risk management process, and committed to collecting data for 317 water crossings along the pipeline route in the next year to ensure the ongoing safety of the pipeline in those locations.
"We share the NEB’s commitment to safety, and we’ll continue to work with the Board to achieve a shared objective – the safe delivery of energy along Line 9."
Enbridge's Intelligent Valve Placement (IVP) methodology was designed to protect all water crossings along the pipeline route, in addition to other high-consequence areas (HCAs). Using this methodology, and as a result of the proposed changes to Line 9, we installed 17 additional remote-controlled valves along the Line 9 corridor, bringing the total to 74 – including 62 remote-controlled valves – to further enhance Line 9’s safety standards.
The IVP methodology optimizes valve locations, taking into consideration topography and pipeline elevation that naturally isolate potential release points. For more information our IVP methodology and our multi-layered risk management program, click here.
We also committed to collecting additional geotechnical data over the next year for all Line 9 water crossings that may have a potential effect on HCAs, either directly of downstream of our line. In the case of Line 9, the large number of watercourses and HCAs along the pipeline means data will be collected for 317 water crossings along the pipeline, helping to enhance an already rigorous pipeline risk management plan. This process ensures that Enbridge and the NEB will continue to work together to protect the environment and watercourses that are vitally important to us all.
Line 9 has operated safely for nearly 40 years, and the measures we have taken in the area of risk management and valve placement have made a safe pipeline even safer. We appreciate this opportunity to provide further clarity to the Board and our stakeholders.