- Regulatory Filing
No. Since the project was announced in 2013, the Energy East project team has conducted a number of environmental assessment studies which includes analyzing bodies of water along the pipeline route. These studies are used to help design water crossings (methods for crossing bodies of water with the least amount of environmental impact) on a case-by-case basis. Protection of water resources is of utmost importance and is why we take extra precautions around bodies of water.
Pipelines are buried in the ground, which is the best protection. The design and materials used will also help protect the pipeline from damage caused by seismic vibrations and earthquakes.
The design of gas pipelines and oil pipelines is essentially the same. The same construction processes, welding practices and materials are used for both types of pipelines. The main difference between gas and oil pipelines is the wall thickness and where the shut-off valves are placed. In a gas pipeline, heavier wall pipe is used in areas with higher population density. For oil pipelines, near water crossings, we would use thicker-walled pipe.
Currently, the river crossings being replaced have 36” diameter pipes, and we want to install 42” diameter pipes. It is important that the pipeline has 42” pipe from start to finish, as this allows us to inspect the integrity of the pipe with inline devices (specialized devices like the SMART pig) while in operation.
Shut-off valves are devices placed within a pipeline that can isolate any segment of pipeline where data that’s gathered indicates a possible leak. In the highly unlikely event of a leak, control centre operators will activate the valves, closing them to stop the flow of oil into the area where there is a potential leak.
Converting the existing pipeline is aligned with our commitment to environmental stewardship. The existing pipeline is already in the ground, so we can minimize our environmental footprint during the construction of the pipeline.
Steps to converting a gas pipeline to oil include ensuring the integrity of the pipeline before converting it, disconnecting the pipeline from the adjacent gas system, and installing new valves and pump stations.
We have many initiatives to help protect and sustain wildlife. A recent example is an initiative in northern B.C. on the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project to protect the woodland caribou. The caribou were herded into an area while vulnerable during their calving stage to ensure safety from predators. Then they were released back into the wild to maintain their population.
Contact the Energy East team at EnergyEast@transcanada.com