MP 212 Incident Response
In June of 2012, Plains Midstream Canada (Plains) experienced a crude oil release from our Rangeland South Pipeline at Mile Post (MP) 212. In response to the incident, which is commonly referred to as MP 212, Plains mounted a full-scale clean-up response. The speed and thoroughness of the clean-up of the pipeline release can be attributed in part to the participation of local communities. The incident highlighted for Plains the value and importance of working with local communities. We sincerely regret that the incident happened.
In the two years since the Rangeland South Pipeline incident, Plains has worked diligently to fulfill our commitment to clean-up the release and mitigate impacts as a result of the incident.
We acknowledge the concern the incident caused for our neighbors and we continue to be accountable for our actions. Plains is dedicated to safe, reliable, and environmentally responsible operations. We have applied what we learned from this incident and aim to continually improve our operations by developing and incorporating initiatives to improve our spill prevention, integrity, and emergency management systems.
We are committed to the cleanup of the Rangeland Pipeline release and we continue to honour that undertaking. We continue to monitor the environment to look for and address any long-term impacts as a result of the release. The results of long term monitoring (water, aquatics and fish) show no long term measurable impact on fish or water specific to the release. Environmental monitoring of the river was extensive through 2012 and 2013, and will continue.
Plains is committed to transparent engagement with our stakeholders. At the time of the incident, we executed an intense stakeholder engagement and communications plan. We continue to share information and are committed to continue this process of information sharing.
Plains is working with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) to demonstrate our operations meet or exceed Alberta standards. Our intention is to continue to work with, learn from, and share our experiences with the regulator to ensure we’re meeting the expectations of the people of Alberta.
On June 7, 2012, the Rangeland South pipeline operated by Plains released crude oil at MP 212.
The pipeline released about 2,911 barrels (463 m3) of light sour crude into an area about 40 kilometres along the shoreline of the Red Deer River.
According to the AER, the release was caused by ‘high-cycle fatigue,’ likely caused by vibrations induced by exceptionally high river flow.
In late summer and early fall of 2012, the AER (previously the Energy Resources Conservation Board), and other provincial and federal regulators, inspected the full extent of the river and reservoir shorelines and granted Plains ‘interim closure’ – meaning that Plains had achieved the prescribed level of remediation. On September 28, 2012, the pipeline was re-opened.
The Gleniffer Lake reservoir re-opened in late June 2012.
The majority of the remediation and reclamation work was completed by spring/early summer of 2013, with additional reclamation work occurring until September 2013. In the fall of 2013, the AER granted Plains ‘final closure’ – meaning Plains had again satisfied regulator expectations of shoreline remediation.
Since the incident, Plains has implemented improvements to empower our employees to be more responsive to a crisis. These improvements were applied to our operations and procedures for our integrity program, pipeline repair, aerial monitoring, leak detection, control centre operations, and communications protocols.
• Our integrity management program includes several internal programs designed to prevent incidents, and includes upgrades to our operating and maintenance programs, and systems upgrades to our pipeline watercourse crossing integrity program. Between required and elected maintenance activities, we have invested approximately $80 million in 2012, $90 million in 2013, and are planning to further invest $106 million in 2014 for integrity management.
• In the asset integrity area, we developed proactive water crossing and water management programs, increased the number of right-of-way inspections and implemented a semi-automated block valve program.
• In our Control Centre we’ve made a $4 million SCADA upgrade – the system used to remotely control the flow in our pipelines – and added 11 new roles and employees to bring greater rigour to our operations. Our Control Centre continues to work with the AER, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, and industry peers (Enbridge, TransCanada, and Alliance) to share best practices.
• Remediation work was completed by Fall 2013. All recoverable oil has been removed from the footprint, and all of the contaminated soil was either treated on-site or removed for disposal.
• Reclamation of native vegetation is important for restoring natural wildlife habitat areas. The area continues to return to conditions similar to the surrounding environment. Grasses and small shrubs have re-vegetated, white spruce seedlings were planted, and clean organic matter was placed in the area to encourage wildlife habitat. We will continue to monitor the site to ensure that adequate vegetative cover is achieved.
We would like to thank you for your continued support and patience over the past two years. We are committed to addressing any remaining concerns and questions from communities and stakeholders regarding the MP 212 release.
If you would like to contact us, email our community response team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-866-670-8073. Media inquiries can be directed to 1-866-754-7422 or email email@example.com.