Pipeline safety initiatives: collaborating with first responders

Every day, CEPA members are working toward our common goal of zero transmission pipeline incidents. But, even though we have a 99.999 per cent safety record for transporting product, we know that it’s critical to prepare for potential emergencies.

Pipeline companies have tremendous resources set aside for emergencies, but another way we’re preparing is by helping ensure that first responders have the information and tools necessary to respond effectively.

First responder awareness

In early 2016, CEPA launched the first responder awareness program. We held safety presentations at municipalities across Canada, explaining to first responders the systems we have in place to deal with a leak or other incident. In this way we can help to ensure that first responders can work quickly and efficiently with pipeline employees and contractors to minimize the impact of any incident. 

But there’s more:

Collaboration with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs

In May 2016, The Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) and CEPA signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU), agreeing to collaborate on building a standardized ‘incident command system’. This will involve firefighter awareness and training, and a consistent approach to emergency management, which will help to ensure the safety of first responders and the public, as well as a more effective, efficient response to the incident itself.

“To properly address any major incidents, firefighters must be trained and knowledgeable on the equipment and systems they are encountering to aid in a successful response,” said Chief Paul Boissonneault, president of the CAFC.  “This partnership with CEPA is an important part of training for our firefighters, fire chiefs and other first responders – especially those near major pipeline infrastructure.”

Other pipeline safety initiatives

This collaboration with first responders is just one of several initiatives that CEPA and our members are working on to improve pipeline safety and spill response. Some of the other initiatives include:

    • Development of an industry-led provincial response organization in B.C.
    • Development of guiding principles for publicly disclosing emergency management information.
    • Developing a national strategy for leak detection.
    • Advancing pipeline abandonment research.

You can read more about these initiatives and others in our newly released 2016 Pipeline Industry Performance Report. The report also shares CEPA members’ performance, incidents and economic contributions during 2016.

2016 Pipeline Performance Report

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 119,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2015, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.