Why has pipeline safety emerged as a serious concern?
We’ve always been serious about pipeline safety, but public awareness has been heightened by some well publicized pipeline incidents. One was the catastrophic San Bruno pipeline failure in California. While not a Spectra Energy pipeline incident, it’s fair to say that the event shook the public’s trust in overall pipeline safety. The San Bruno incident underlined the importance of effective integrity management programs for the entire industry.
What is Spectra Energy doing to rebuild public confidence in pipeline infrastructure?
Nothing speaks louder than performance. I’ve recently taken the helm of Spectra Energy’s newly formed Asset Integrity Department. We work to ensure safe operations by developing and following practices that meet or exceed compliance with safety-related laws and regulations that govern interstate pipelines. We continuously analyze our assets and practices to identify potential opportunities to further enhance safety. By operating safely, we earn trust.
How are you, as a company, engaging with stakeholders on pipeline safety?
We make an explicit effort to be active in industry activities and to be transparent. We listen to our stakeholders and do our best to address their concerns. Our engagement includes meeting with emergency responders to establish contacts, share best practices and deepen relationships. We also meet with legislators, regulators and public advocacy groups who want to learn about our company. At the community level, we hold open forums in neighborhoods where we have assets or development plans, as well as work with planners to ensure safe development near our pipelines. We ultimately strive to ensure that stakeholders understand and have confidence in our efforts and our commitment to managing pipeline safety.