Pipeline technology is fallible

We often hear from industry, governments and individuals who support pipeline development about how technology has improved.

We often hear from industry, governments and individuals who support pipeline development about how technology has improved to the point where there should be no concern by the general public about the safety and security of these installations.

In fact, when the original technology is questioned, often the solution is to add yet another layer of technology to the system to guarantee its safety.

Of course, with any technology, there is no guarantee and if you listen carefully to what the officials are “guaranteeing” it’s that there is a very low probability of failure, but nevertheless failure is still possible for any number of reasons. For example:

• The more technically complex a system becomes the more you reach a tipping point where system reliability actually decreases due to the increased number of failure points.

• If human operators truly think a system is fail safe they may not provide the due diligence required to monitor the system properly and can react slowly during a crisis situation.

• We human beings are incredibly arrogant to think we can build something that can resist the forces of nature for an indefinite period of time.

There are many examples of man made ocean liners, structures, and pipelines that were supposed to be indestructible. As the Exxon spokesperson said in response to the recent Arkansas oil spill: “We did everything according to the book to maintain this pipeline,” which somehow seemed to alleviate the company from any responsibility for this disaster.

A pipeline or tanker spill may not be inevitable but it is certainly possible. This is what must be considered when evaluating the risks and rewards of such a venture.

Anthony Grice

Parksville

Just Posted

Town of Qualicum Beach to sell more than $5M in real estate

Sales to pay for recent real estate purchases, including St. Andrews Lodge

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Living with obsessive compulsive disorder

The Big Read: Vancouver Island mom calls for more mental health services as son battles OCD

Parksville councillor says info more ‘forthcoming’ in the future on supportive housing project

Leanne Salter said she was ‘kept in the dark’ on details about 222 Corfield St. South

VIDEO: Top winners announced for sand sculpting competition

See the sculptures as they progress through the competition at Parksville Community Park

VIDEO: Firefighters put out brush fire in Nanaimo

Fire broke out in the area of a new development under construction in East Wellington

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Air quality statement warns of smoky air for Kamloops area

Environment ministry says area on north side of Thompson River may be affected by wildfire smoke

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

B.C. VIEWS: Making private health care illegal again

Adrian Dix battles to maintain Cuba-style medical monopoly

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Most Read