Energy regulator staff probed over handling of TransCanada safety violations

Energy regulator staff probed over handling of TransCanada safety violationsEngineers from Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) are under investigation over their handling of alleged safety code violations at TransCanada Corp, the country’s second largest pipeline operator.

The probe, confirmed to Reuters by the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), centres on the alleged mishandling of claims of natural gas pipeline violations at TransCanada, including poor repair work, inept welding and failure to report important safety issues, brought to light by a whistleblower.

In 2012, a different whistleblower brought forward safety concerns to the NEB, which investigated the issues as part of an audit that had already been planned. It was rescheduled to take place earlier when those allegations were raised.

The audit's findings, released in February of 2014, highlighted some lapses in four of the nine areas that were examined.

The investigation also coincide with a parliamentary debate on new pipeline safety legislation, in which the official opposition and environmentalists have criticized the regulator, saying it is too close to the industry it oversees.