Pipeline safety under audit

The National Energy Board will conduct a comprehensive audit of emergency response and safety plans for energy pipeline giant Kinder Morgan.

The audit will only focus on existing facilities and won't include the companies planned Trans Mountain pipeline expansion between Alberta and the British Columbia coast.

Both Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Premier Christy Clark have called for Kinder Morgan's full emergency response plan for the Trans Mountain project to be made public.

A spokesman for the federal regulator said the board intends to carefully review Kinder Morgan's current practices and scrutinize how executives and employees view safety.

Tom Neufeld said the audit will take about a year and is part of NEB Chairman Peter Watson's efforts to respond to concerns raised about emergency response plans of the energy infrastructure giant.

Watson was expected to address Metro Vancouver mayors on Friday about pipeline safety, as part of the board's national outreach initiative that started earlier this year.

Andy Galarnyk, director of external relations at Kinder Morgan, said the audit was simply the normal course of business to ensure their procedures are in compliance with regulatory requirements.

"All NEB regulated pipeline companies are subject to periodic audits by the board," he said in a statement.

"The safe operation of our pipeline and protection of the public and environment is our number 1 priority."

Kinder Morgan is considered the largest energy infrastructure firm in North America, with 135,000 kilometres of pipelines and 180 terminals.

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