A pipeline has ruptured and sparked a massive fire north of Prince George, B.C. is shown in a photo provided by Dhruv Desai. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Dhruv Desai

Tighter safety measures ordered at B.C. site of natural gas pipeline blast

Enbridge told to limit gas flows at 80% pressure levels from blast site, northwest of Prince George

The National Energy Board has issued new safety orders for a pipeline explosion site near Prince George to strictly monitor natural gas flows to protect people and the environment.

The federal regulator said in a statement Friday it ordered Calgary-based Enbridge to limit gas flows at 80 per cent pressure levels from the blast site, located northeast of Prince George, along the entire length of the pipeline up to the B.C.-United States border.

The Oct. 9 explosion ruptured a 91-centimetre natural gas pipeline, but did not damage an adjacent 76-centimetre pipeline, which is now supplying natural gas on a reduced basis to about one million customers in B.C.

“Based on more detailed information received from the company, and further assessment as the investigation of the 36 inch pipeline rupture has progressed, the NEB determined that additional measures are required to ensure ongoing safety,” said the statement.

READ MORE: Pipeline explosion causes evacuations near Prince George

The amended NEB order requires the company not to operate any section of the 91-centimetre pipeline above 80 per cent pressure from just beyond the Prince George blast site to the Canada-U.S. border at Huntington-Sumans until Enbridge can demonstrate the pipeline is safe to operate.

The 2,900-kilometre pipeline extends from Fort Nelson in B.C.’s northeast to the U.S. border.

“The NEB continues to work closely with the company,” the NEB said. “As Enbridge confirms the work to be done and timing, we will ensure that the appropriate pipeline integrity, safety and environmental technical staff are on site.”

Enbridge could not be immediately reached for comment.

The company’s last statement issued Oct. 19 said work is ongoing to repair the pipeline, which was expected to be complete by the middle of November.

“Safety is a guiding principle in everything we do. We are ensuring all construction operations are being done safely,” said Enbridge. “The line will be made operational once that work is complete, the line is fully tested, and approval is granted by the National Energy Board.

FortisBC, the province’s natural gas supplier, said its customers can expect reduced supplies as winter approaches.

The company said natural gas supplies could be limited to 50 to 80 per cent of normal levels during the coldest months of the year.

The RCMP has said there is no indication the pipeline rupture and ensuing fireball involved criminal activity.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Aussies buy majority stake in Red Chris mine

Company looks forward to relationship with Tahltan Nation

B.C. minister says rural internet is ‘railroad of the 21st century’

Jinny Sims talks details about the $50-million provincial and possible $750-million federal funds

Premier in Witset for reconciliation discussions

We need to be here together: Horgan at Wet’suwet’en feast.

Move natural gas pipeline, MP suggests

Coastal GasLink could then avoid opposition

Zero-interest student loans a huge relief: CMTN student union

Parliamentary secretary hears from Terrace students, alumni and staff

B.C. resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Research needs to catch up with B.C.’s gas drilling industry, experts say

Hydraulic fracturing review ordered by Premier John Horgan

Father thanks B.C. Mountie for shooting hoops with kids, ‘changing perspectives’

‘We’re just like everyone else,’ says Surrey officer who stopped to play basketball with kids

2019 BUDGET: As deficit grows, feds spend on job retraining, home incentives

Stronger economy last year delivered unexpected revenue bump of an extra $27.8 billion over six years

Trans Mountain court hearing: B.C. says it won’t reject pipelines without cause

Canada says the proposed amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act must be struck down

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Most Read