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File Ad-GA-ActsLeg-Fed-NEBA-RRG-DPR 0201
18 November 2013

To: Oil and Gas Companies under the Jurisdiction of the National Energy Board and
Interested Parties

Notice of Proposed Regulatory Change (NOPRC) 2013-01 - National Energy Board Damage Prevention Regulations

Experience has shown that many incidents involving pipelines are caused by construction and excavation activities. Unsafe practices during these activities can cause damage to pipelines and put the safety of people and the environment at risk. Pipeline safety is the National Energy Board's (NEB's) top priority. The NEB will take all available actions to protect Canadians and the environment.

The responsibility to prevent pipeline damage is shared between anyone who plans to undertake construction or excavation near a pipeline and the pipeline company. Other parties with a key role in preventing damage include one-call centers, pipeline locators and regulators. The NEB's regulatory framework for damage prevention is designed to make sure companies and individuals are effective in managing safety and environmental protection when working near NEB-regulated pipelines (pipelines).

The National Energy Board (Board) is proposing to amend its regulations relating to damage prevention as set out in the attached NOPRC 2013-01. The regulations that will be amended as a result of this initiative are the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I (PCR Part I) National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II (PCR Part II) and Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR). These proposed amendments advance the regulation development commitment made in the NEB's Damage Prevention Framework Plan (February 2012) as well as commitments made in the July 2011 Action Plan on Safety and Environmental Protection. On 28 December 2012, the NEB published the Discussion Paper - Proposed Changes to NEB Regulations for Damage Prevention. Stakeholders were invited to comment on four key topics of discussion. The comments received were considered in the development of the NOPRC.

At this time, the Board invites all regulated companies and interested parties to provide comments on NOPRC 2013-01. The Board is also seeking input on the type of guidance that may be required to accompany the proposed sections contained in NOPRC 2013-01. The closing date for submitting comments is 18 December 2013.

The NOPRC 2013-01, attached to this letter, can also be found on the Board's website under Acts and Regulations/Regulations, Guidance Notes and Related Documents under the National Energy Board Act/Proposed changes to the National Energy Board Damage Prevention regulations with a set of Questions and Answers for more information.

Comments may be provided electronically or in hard copy by mail or by fax sent to the contact information below.

NOPRC 2013-01 NEB Damage Prevention Regulations
Sheri Young
Secretary of the Board
National Energy Board
444 - 7th Avenue S.W.
Calgary, AB  T2P 0X8
Facsimile 403-299-5503 or 1-877-288-8803
Email damagepreventionregs@neb-one.gc.ca

If you have any questions please contact Andrea Hardi
(andrea.hardie@neb-one.gc.ca) at 403-292-8604 or by calling 1-800-899-1265.

Yours truly,

Sheri Young
Secretary of the Board

Attachment


Notice of Proposed Regulatory Change - NEB Damage Prevention Regulations
File Ad-GA-ActsLeg-Fed-NEBA-RRG-DPR 0201

Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part 1 & Part 2
Onshore Pipeline Regulations
NOTICE OF PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGE
NOPRC 2013-01

The National Energy Board (NEB) is proposing to amend its regulations relating to damage prevention as set out in the attached NOPRC 2013-01. This notice of proposed amendment is intended to advance the regulation development commitment made in the NEB's Damage Prevention Framework Plan (February 2012) as well as commitments made in the July 2011 Action Plan on Safety and Environmental Protection. The NOPRC 2013-01 also reflects the NEB's expectation for continual improvement to ensure companies and individuals are effective in managing safety and environmental protection when working near NEB-regulated pipelines. The regulations that will be amended as a result of this initiative are the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I (PCR Part I), National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II (PCR Part II) and National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR).

On 26 June 2013, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, the Honourable Joe Oliver, announced the Government of Canada's latest steps to enhance Canada's pipeline system   (Media Release). These measures outline a commitment to strengthen Canada's pipeline safety system (Backgrounder). As a result of this announcement, several legislative amendments are anticipated and consequential regulation amendments may follow. The proposed amendments have not yet been introduced in Parliament. Changes to regulations that may be required subsequent to the proposed legislative amendments announced by the Minister are not included in the NOPRC 2013-01.

Proposed Amendment

Titles

The titles of the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I and the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II will be amended to become the National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations, Part I and the National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations, Part II. The replacement of the word "Crossing" with "Damage Prevention" will better reflect the activities that the regulation governs.

Interpretation

"One-Call Centre" means an organization that, within a defined geographical area coordinates requests for locates and notifies its potentially affected members of any proposed ground disturbances, constructions, installations, or excavations for the purposes of protecting their facilities from damage and ensuring public safety.

Effective and Timely Communication

PCR Part I will be amended to require anyone planning construction or excavation within the area prescribed in the National Energy Board Act to make a locate request by contacting a One-Call centre at least three working days before the day on which the construction or excavation is to start. If a One-Call centre is not established in the area, parties are required to contact the pipeline company directly at least three working days before the day on which the construction or excavation is to start.

PCR Part II will be amended to require pipeline companies to be members of One-Call centres in geographical areas where a centre exists and the company has a pipeline.

Safe Work Practices for Construction and Excavation

PCR Part I will be amended to clarify that any project owner (e.g. a municipality) who undertakes any construction or excavation activities to which the Regulation applies will be responsible for the supervision and monitoring of all persons working on behalf of the project owner, including employees, contractors, and sub-contractors.

Damage Prevention Programs with a Management System Approach

PCR Part II will be amended to require pipeline companies to have a Damage Prevention Program, which includes the following components:

  • a public awareness program to inform the public of the presence of the pipeline, how to work safely near the pipeline, how to respond to an emergency relating to a damaged pipeline, and the services of One-Call centres, where established,
  • guidelines on information required in requests by third parties for written permission,
  • ongoing monitoring of the use of the land on which the pipeline is located and the land adjacent to the pipeline right-of-way,
  • a process to ensure timely responses to locate requests,
  • ongoing emergency responder education,
  • standards for pipeline locates, and
  • a process to manage the movement of vehicles and mobile equipment across the pipeline.

The OPR will be amended to identify the Damage Prevention Program as a sixth distinct program area to which the management system requirements apply.

Low Risk Crossings by Agricultural Vehicles

PCR Part I and PCR Part II will be amended to capture the intent of Order MO-21-2010: An Exemption Order Respecting Crossings by Agricultural Vehicles or Mobile Equipment. This amendment will allow the NEB to maintain, in one location, all regulations and orders pertaining to the prevention of damage to pipelines.

At this time, the NEB will not be making any significant changes to the intent of the Order; however some of the wording may be amended to better match the wording already found in the current NEB regulations. The NEB follows Treasury Board guidelines and Department of Justice requirements for the regulation drafting and amendment process. The final wording of any proposed regulatory amendments is subject to the Department of Justice's legal drafting requirements and Governor in Council approval.

Related Documents:

Questions and Answers - Notice of Proposed Regulatory Change (NOPRC) - NEB Damage Prevention Regulations

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