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

Dunk yourself into the musical theatre experience

Chemainus Theatre hosting a series of summer camps for student actors

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select routes

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries to be sold on Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Great cast makes The Foreigner loveable and laughable

Comedy at the Chemainnus Theatre runs until May 9

Oh Susannah!

Great vocals and musical accompaniment at Pat’s House of Jazz show

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Most Read