Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the wildfires in Fort McMurray. The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) is working closely with its member companies, sister associations and industry partners to provide a means of support and assistance to those impacted.
CEPA recognizes that safety is of the utmost importance and in response, has created a webpage dedicated answering the important questions around pipeline safety and natural disasters: http://www.aboutpipelines.com
Pipelines and fires
- CEPA member companies have robust pipeline management systems in place that will alert, manage and mitigate conditions that could adversely affect people or the environment. Member companies will be relying on these systems as they monitor the forest fire situation in Northern Alberta.
- Pipelines are designed and built with isolation valves along the pipeline – these valves have a fire safety design that meets CSA standards and regulatory requirements. Facilities have emergency shut down protection procedures in place to isolate them from the pipeline, including automatic fire detection systems and gravel covered surfaces (which does not ignite).
- Pipeline operators have the ability to shutdown pipelines remotely. Every CEPA member has a master control room centre where all aspects of their pipeline operations are monitored. They use SCADA systems (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) to gather critical information from pipelines and alert technicians in control rooms if there’s a problem.
- Pipeline companies are required to keep their pipeline right-of-ways (ROW) clear of any major vegetation. These cleared ROW, in addition to the pipeline burial depth, will protect the pipeline from the heat of a potential fire.
- If a pipeline or facility has been exposed to a fire situation, the company will conduct a comprehensive engineering assessment to ensure the integrity of the pipeline before it is brought back into service.
- Pipeline companies work collaboratively with numerous sources to ensure they have the latest information to take appropriate actions. These stakeholders include the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, first responders, municipalities, and other companies and associations.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Alexandra Frison, Director, Communications