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Keystone pipeline maker TransCanada has broken rules says energy watchdog

CALGARY — The National Energy Board says it’s concerned Calgary-based pipeline giant TransCanada Corp. has broken the regulator’s rules, as well as its own.A then-employee of TransCanada approached the board in May with concerns of “regulatory non-compliance,” the NEB says in a letter posted on its website.The letter was addressed to Dan King, vice president of engineering and asset reliability, and copied to CEO Russ Girling and Don Wishart, executive vice president of operations and major projects.In it, the board did not specify which rules were broken or which pipeline or project was involved.[np-related]Many of the allegations — which the board says did not pose immediate threats to the safety of people or the environment — have been verified by an internal audit TransCanada undertook.Measures to fix the problems have been completed, or are in the process of being implemented, the NEB said.But the board is nonetheless conducting its own audit to find out whether TransCanada is still breaking the rules and determine any “corrective actions that may be required.”Among other things, the NEB will look at:— Confirmation that TransCanada’s welding inspections and non-destructive examination practices meet NEB requirements. — Whether changes to TransCanada’s internal engineering guidelines meet NEB requirements. — The remediation measures TransCanada has undertaken based on its internal audit. — Whether its revised inspection processes meet requirements in the Onshore Pipelines Regulations, 1999 — The adequacy on a new training program for inspectors. — The job description of the new quality assurance/quality control manager.“Pipeline safety is of paramount importance to the NEB, and it will take all available actions to protect Canadians and the environment,” board secretary Sheri Young says in the letter.“Should the NEB audit and inspections result in the finding of residual or additional non-compliances, the board will not hesitate to impose appropriate corrective actions.”TransCanada has been in the spotlight in recent years for its contentious Keystone XL pipeline proposal to increase the amount of oilsands crude shipped to U.S. markets.After a series of delays, the U.S. State Department is expected to make a decision in early 2013.

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