Canadian pipeline attacks raise security concerns

SAINT JOHN, N.B. - Another attack on a B.C. pipeline operated by EnCana has Saint John, N.B., residents wondering about the security of the Emera-owned Brunswick Pipeline.

Police are investigating a blast about 20 kilometres from Dawson Creek, B.C., after workers noticed damage to a shed, near a well site, on Sunday.

The blast was the fourth in the area, after three other attacks last fall.

Susan Harris, community relations manager for Brunswick Pipeline, said Wednesday the company has both a surveillance and security plan in place.

The Brunswick Pipeline is a 145-kilometre pipeline, 75 centimetres in diameter, that will connect the Canaport LNG terminal in Saint John, N.B., to the existing Maritimes and Northeast Pipeline near St. Stephen, N.B.

''Our surveillance plan has been reviewed by a security expert firm and we've got input from them,'' Harris said. ''(The plans) will be discussed very shortly with the fire chief and police chief of Saint John, so they are aware of it.''

As for the details of the plans, Harris said it is not something they will be disclosing to the public.

However, two Saint John residents want to present their concerns to common council about the pipeline's emergency response plan.

Horst Sauerteig and Joan Pearce say they are concerned the public has not yet been informed about the company's plans in the event of an emergency related to the natural gas pipeline.

The residents, who acted as interveners during previous National Energy Board hearings dealing with Brunswick Pipeline's operations in the city, are also concerned the company may not be patrolling the pipeline enough, preventing any security threats.

Sauerteig has also written to the National Energy Board, requesting a copy of the company's emergency response plan.

Harris said safety is very important to both the company and the community.

''It's not something we take lightly,'' Harris said.

As for threats to Brunswick Pipeline similar to the letters sent in the EnCana situation - a threatening letter was sent before the first B.C. blast occurred and police continue to search for the sender - Harris said Brunswick Pipeline has not received threats similar to the ones in B.C.