Canada strengthens pipeline safety rules

April 11, 2013 at 8:22 AM   |   Comments

OTTAWA, April 11 (UPI) -- New safety regulations regarding crude oil and petroleum product pipelines will add another layer of assurance for Canada's environment, the government said.

Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver announced that new security and emergency managements are in force. The rules call on pipeline companies to appoint an accountability officer, develop plans to deal with any pipeline emergency and other response-related requirements.

Oliver said "99.9996 percent" of crude oil and petroleum products delivered by pipeline in the country are done so safely.

"While our country's record of pipeline safety is very strong, we are committed to introducing new measures that enhance it even further," he said in a statement.

Oliver said the federal government was also doubling to six the number of annual audits it conducts on oil and natural gas pipelines.

Alberta Premier Alison Redford was in the United States recently lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline planned from her province. Critics of the pipeline have cited safety concerns following pipeline spills in Arkansas last month and in Michigan in 2010.

Alberta Environment Minister Diana McQueen proposed legislation last week that would mandate a 40 percent reduction in the amount of emissions per barrel of oil sands produced from her province. Legislation that went into force in 2007 calls for a 12 percent reduction from base levels.

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