02/03/2014 10:46 EST | Updated 04/05/2014 05:59 EDT

Atco to replace aging gas pipelines, move them away from populated areas

EDMONTON - The president of Atco Pipelines says the company has decided to replace aging natural gas pipelines that are dangerously close to schools, homes and businesses in Edmonton and Calgary.

Brian Hahn says the project should be completed within five years.

Hahn says the safety of the communities is the company's priority.

The replacement system is to include "modern coatings to prevent corrosion, better welding practices, better construction and inspection practices that are more robust."

There will also be "inline inspection tools that will actually allow us to ... put a tool down the pipeline while it is still in operation to get a health check on the pipeline while it is operating through its life cycle.”

Atco must apply for permits for the project, a process that includes public consultations.