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ERCB needs more teeth, not spin doctors

EDMONTON, AB (February 26, 2013):  The Energy Resources Conservation Board needs stronger enforcement of existing regulations after releasing its findings against Plains Midstream Canada, Pembina Pipeline Corporation and Pengrowth Energy for 2011 oil spills, Wildrose Environment Critic Joe Anglin said today. 

The ERCB identified six areas where the three companies failed to comply with the regulations. However, the “High Risk Enforcement Actions” offered little more than public censure, increased inspections and in the case of Plains Midstream Canada, a third party audit to assess “crisis communications.” “Enforcement action” on companies needs to be more meaningful than a press release and a tougher hand needs to be shown to companies for failing to follow existing regulations, Anglin said. “Hiring better communications consultants during the middle of a pipeline rupture does not assure Albertans that our land and water will be fully protected when a rupture occurs,” Anglin said. “Albertans want to be assured that more will and can be done to protect our landscape against the possible risk of any pipeline ruptures – better post-spill spin doctoring is not the answer.” Strengthening enforcement is a key step in ensuring clean air, water and land for Albertans to enjoy, Anglin said. “We need a clear set of standards so the energy sector can all be on the same page and the public can have greater assurance on how we can prevent oil spills and properly handle them if they do occur.”