EAPUOC was originally formed after a major petroleum pipeline rupture in 1979, "The Millwoods Incident" that forced the evacuation of over 19,000 people. It was, at the time, Canada's largest peacetime evacuation. An inquiry by Alberta's Energy Resource Conservation Board (now the Energy Resources Conservation Board) determined third-party damage as the root cause. Fifteen recommendations were made. A request that the City, the ERCB and operators explore all aspects of pipeline planning, design and operation gave rise to the "Edmonton Area Pipeline Operators' Committee". It was soon realized that utility services should be included in the organization.

EAPUOC's interests are primarily within the area outlined in the map at the top of this page. Members' responsibilities extend throughout Alberta and it's "sphere of influence" reaches outside of North America. It has been used as a model by others, including the National Research Council of the U.S. government which has cited it as an ideal.