Canada calls for oil transfer safety review

Rescue workers dig through the rubble for victims of a train disaster in Lac-Megantic, Quebec on July 8, 2013.

Canada’s Senate has called for a comprehensive safety review of crude oil transportation means, including pipelines and railroads, more than a month after a deadly rail disaster killed 47 people in the country.

“We’ve been working on these issues for the last nine months and the shocking Lac-Megantic rail disaster has only intensified the need to address hydrocarbon transportation safety,” said Senator Richard Neufeld, chair of the standing committee on energy, in a report on Thursday.

The Senate report also urged that more information be disclosed to the public about the site of the pipelines and oil spills.

“In the years ahead, hydrocarbon production will continue to grow and so will transport capacity. That’s why we believe Canadians need to know more about what the federal government has in place to protect citizens and the environment, and what more can be done to enhance current practices,” Neufeld added.

Mandatory audits of the safety protocols used by rail, pipeline and marine transportation companies, and boosting spill preparedness and response capabilities were among the most important issues raised in the report.

The report of the Senate committee, which commenced investigating energy safety issues in November 2012, came after a crude oil-carrying train exploded in Canada’s Quebec province.

On July 6, the freight train with 72 tankers full of crude oil crashed after it began to roll downhill without a conductor towards the town of Lac-Megantic, around 250 kilometers (155 miles) east of Montreal.

It caused a huge blaze that tore through part of the town, destroyed 40 buildings, and forced around 2,000 people to flee their homes.

On August 13, the Canadian Transportation Agency revoked the operating license of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway (MMA) company whose train was involved in the Lac-Megantic disaster.

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Republished from: Press TV