Alberta Auditor General urged to give proper pipeline safety review

The Red Deer River. Picture taken in Drumhelle...
The Red Deer River. Picture taken in Drumheller, Alberta (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Edmonton – Representatives of the 54 groups that called for a safety review of Alberta’s pipeline system are now petitioning the province’s auditor general to do a more thorough job.

They say the report released August 24 was a failure since it was merely a review of regulations and didn’t cover enforcement or look at any particular pipeline spills.

“Albertans deserve a real pipeline safety review,” said Don Bester of the Alberta Surface Rights Group. “They deserve an independent review that takes a holistic look at Alberta’s mounting pipeline problems. The auditor general in Saskatchewan already undertook such a review and we hope that our provincial auditor will do the same.”

The groups sent a letter to Premier Redford expressing their disappointment with the report done by Group 10 engineering and stating their intention to petition the provincial auditor.

The letter read:

Dear Premier Redford,

We were disappointed that the recently released pipeline report was not the comprehensive pipeline safety review that over 54 groups urged you to commission following a rash of major oil spills, including one that went into the Red Deer River.

It’s also not the report that Albertans deserve.

Albertans deserve to know the real scope of the province’s pipeline problems and they deserve real solutions.

As the pipeline report was just a selective review of regulations rather than a comprehensive examination of the pipeline situation that looks at specific pipeline incidents as well as the quality and effectiveness of enforcement, we have no choice but to begin to petition the Alberta Auditor General to take on such an examination.

We hope that you will support such an initiative and in the future include civil society groups in the review process from the start.

“Albertans deserve to know how bad the pipeline problems are in Alberta as well as solutions to try to address them,” said Mike Hudema of Greenpeace Canada. “Hopefully, the provincial auditor will give Albertans the thorough examination of the province’s pipeline problems that they wanted in the first place.”

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