VANCOUVER Feb 24 Canadian regulators said on
Monday that an audit of TransCanada Corp's safety
practices found the country's No. 2 pipeline company operated
safely for the most part, but identified some key areas where it
needs to improve.
The National Energy Board said the Calgary-based company,
which is developing the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, was
found to be compliant in five of nine sub-elements of the
"The Board finds that TransCanada has identified the
majority, and most significant, of its hazards and risks,
however there are areas where the company was found to be out of
compliance," the agency said in a statement.
TransCanada was found to be non-compliant in the categories
of hazard identification, risk assessment and control;
operational control-upset or abnormal operating conditions;
inspection, measurement and monitoring; and management review.
"A finding of non-compliance may not necessarily mean that
there is an immediate hazard, however a corrective action is
required in order for the company's system to remain safe," the
TransCanada, which must provide regulators with its action
plan within 30 days, said it is already working on some of the
findings and will include the board's recommendations in its
ongoing improvement program.
"We take our responsibilities to anticipate, prevent,
mitigate, and manage any and all hazards and risks associated
with our operations seriously," said spokesman Shawn Howard in a
The NEB launched its audit of TransCanada's safety practices
in the fall of 2012, after whistlerblower complaint forced the
regulator to bump up a review originally scheduled for 2013.
The agency regularly audits the safety practices of pipeline
companies operating in Canada.
Its findings could give added ammunition to opponents of
TransCanada's proposed $5.4 billion Keystone XL pipeline, which
would transport crude from Alberta's oil sands to refineries on
the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Supporters say the line, which has already faced more than
five years of regulatory scrutiny, would create thousands of
jobs and cut U.S. fuel costs, while critics say it would harm
the environment and hasten climate change by promoting the
expansion of Canada's oil sands.
While a final Presidential decision is expected this year,
the project hit another snag last week, when a Nebraska court
overturned the governor's decision to allow the line to pass
through the state.