Enbridge fined $40K for failing to properly monitor B.C. pipeline prior to explosion

The Canada Energy Regulator has handed Enbridge a $40,000 fine for failing to properly monitor a Prince George, B.C. pipeline prior to an explosion in October 2018.

The ruling comes on the heels of a Transportation Safety Board (TSB) inspection that found the company had improperly delayed a scheduled hazard management inspection of the pipeline that may have detected issues and prevented the fiery blast from happening.

According to the TSB’s report, the explosion in 2018 was caused by stress cracks in the pipe near Lheidli T’enneh First Nation reserve land northeast of Prince George.

The blast sparked a huge fireball and forced more than 100 people from their homes. As well, damage to the pipeline choked natural gas supply across the province and into the U.S. for months.

The Canada Energy Regulator posted its ruling online Thursday, issuing the fine to Westcoast Energy Inc., which is a subsidiary of Enbridge operating as Spectra Energy Transmission.

The ruling states that Westcoast violated the rules governing Canadian pipeline companies in that it “did not adequately implement its integrity management program with respect to stress corrosion cracking and inspection practices and that, had Westcoast done so, the pipeline defect could have been detected to avoid the rupture.”

The company has 30 days to pay the fine or file an appeal.

The Lheidli T’enneh First Nation is currently pursuing legal action against Enbridge, arguing the explosion caused “serious and constant distress and anguish” to its members, and that it never gave the company permission to build a pipeline on their unceded land.

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