The Ministry of the Economy of Saskatchewan is implementing a province-wide inspection of all oil pipelines that cross Saskatchewan rivers or lakes where a potential failure could pose a threat to municipal water supplies.
The inspection program comes in the wake of the July 21 spill at a Husky Oil facility on the North Saskatchewan River which affected several communities.
“The specific cause for the July 21 spill is still undetermined at this point, and we cannot speculate on the factors involved in that incident,” said Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan’s Energy and Resources Minister. “However, this does not prevent us from being proactive in our role as the provincial regulator of this industry and responsive to public concerns.”
The water crossing inspections underway will include a physical assessment of each crossing, starting with the North Saskatchewan River and then expanding to other watercourses. The ministry will be collaborating with the National Energy Board, which is responsible for regulating all of the pipeline crossings on the South Saskatchewan River.
Along with the physical inspections of each crossing, the ministry will also be working with the pipeline companies to ensure that the structures are being maintained according to the regulations.
Duncan said that piipelines remain the safest and most environmentally sound method for transporting oil. “As a regulator, we will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders in making sure that they are operated to the highest standards.”
To read about the Husky Oil spill on July 20, click here.