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Monday, November 22, 2010

County in Alberta calls for minimum 2 metres depth of cover over federally regulated pipelines

In a letter of comment filed with the National Energy Board (NEB), the County of Strathcona said the following about proposed crossing permission requirements for agricultural landowners and minimum depth of cover over pipelines:
Strathcona County and the Strathcona County Energy Exploration Committee (a Committee of Council) has the following comments regarding the draft Guidance for Safe Crossings of NEB-Regulated Pipelines Using Agricultural Vehicles and Mobile Equipment:

Fundamentally; the pipeline industry should be held to task to provide the landowner with an agreement to "farm" his land prior to building the pipe; putting the owness on the landowner to request a crossing agreement from the company once the pipe is installed is not a process that many farmers would be aware of. However we are cognizant of the fact that "farming" practices are ever changing and Strathcona County does not condone putting farmers at risk. In this regard we support the draft as it applies to existing pipelines.
 
Moving forward we propose the consideration of a 2 (two) meter depth cover for future pipeline installations to alleviate the need for many of the safety and integrity concerns currently expressed by the agricultural community and industry. While there will still be a need for special considerations and communication between the parties this would allow for both to conduct their business with minimal crossing issues. We realize there could be an economic impact with this action but suggest that safety and reduction of future conflict may assist in offsetting that cost.

Strathcona County is a mixture of urban and rural land uses with approximately 250,485 acres of farmed land and a total of 771 farms. [emphasis added]