TransCanada’s safety record is not consistent with the assurances that the company has made regarding its pipelines and the proposed Energy East pipeline. In June 2014, the Council of Canadians released a report identifying previous leaks and explosions on the 40-yr-old natural gas pipeline that TransCanada wants to convert to the Energy East pipeline. In the past decade, pipeline incidents such as leaks, ruptures, explosions and spills have doubled. Based on this average the proposed Energy East pipeline could have nine such incidents a year. TransCanada has claimed it would take 10 minutes to shut down a pumping station after a leak; however, the Council of Canadians has done the math, and transporting 1.1 million barrels of tars sands crude a day means 2, 0224 litres of oil a second. Thus, 1,000,000 litres of oil could spill in the ten minutes it would take TransCanada to stop the leak (over 264,000 gallons).
Regarding the Keystone pipeline, which transports DilBit from Albert to Illinois and began operating in June 2010, TransCanada claimed a spill of over 50 gallons would occur only once every seven years. However, in just its first year of operation, the pipeline leaked 14 times, including a spill of over 21,000 gallons in North Dakota.
Regarding the Keystone XL pipeline that has not yet been approved in the U.S. and would carry Alberta DilBt to Texas, officials from the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) found alarming defects in the southern leg of the pipeline, prompting them to impose two new safety regulations on the project, including having a third party inspection company oversee TransCanada’s operations, which is not normal practice, according to Evan Vokes, a mechanical engineer and former TransCanada employee.