Kingston oil spill simulation tests our emergency response readiness

Enbridge personnel, local officials, government agencies team up for large-scale drill

Teamwork was the name of the game on Thursday.

Working closely with local first responders and emergency management officials, Enbridge held an oil spill response training exercise in Kingston, Ontario that drew more than 200 personnel in total.

“Our job is not to take over the response,” David Clarke, Enbridge’s emergency response co-ordinator for Ontario and Quebec, told the Kingston Whig-Standard.

“Our job is to work with the local authorities. We are the spill response experts.”

Emergency response exercises are not just a “value-add.” They’re a critical piece of the safety puzzle at Enbridge, alongside our prevention, monitoring, inspection and maintenance activities.

And while the chances of a pipeline spill are remote, we constantly test, review and improve our emergency preparedness and response systems.

Over the past four years, Enbridge held 1,590 exercises, drills and equipment deployment events—an average of 397 a year. In 2015, we held more than 360 of these events in all the regions where we operate.

Full-fledged, large-scale exercises involve not only Enbridge employees, but municipal and provincial staff, first responders, oil industry experts, environmental experts, media, and more.

As part of Thursday’s exercise, headquartered at Rideau Acres Campground, we deployed response boats, utility task vehicles (UTVs), decontamination trailers, and containment, protection and absorption boom in response to a simulated third-party strike on Enbridge’s Line 9 on the banks of the Cataraqui River, which runs into the Rideau Canal.

See full coverage of our Kingston emergency response exercise in the Kingston Whig-Standard.