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Questions and Answers

Notice of Proposed Regulatory Change (NOPRC) - NEB Damage Prevention Regulations
National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations,Part I (PCR Part I)
National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations,Part II (PCR Part II)
Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR)

Q1. What is a NOPRC?

  • The Board issues a NOPRC when it wishes to communicate proposed regulatory amendments to stakeholders. The Board establishes a review period for the proposed regulatory change. Once stakeholders have commented on the NOPRC and the review period is complete, the Board will finalize the NOPRC. The Board will then issue the finalized NOPRC as a Proposed Regulatory Change (PRC). When the Board next amends their regulations relating to damage prevention, the content of the PRC will be incorporated into those amendments, subject to Governor in Council approval.

Q2. Why is the National Energy Board issuing this Notice of Proposed Regulatory Change (NOPRC 2013-01)?

Q3. Why doesn't the NOPRC 2013-01 include specific draft wording of the regulation changes?

  • 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. The PCR Part I and PCR Part II regulations are written in an old style of drafting language and the NEB is anticipating that there will be significant wording changes associated with the upcoming amendments as the regulations are modernized. As such, we have drafted the NOPRC to outline the changes that will be incorporated but chose not to focus on the specific wording of those changes.

Q4. Will I have an opportunity to comment on specific draft wording of the regulation changes when it is available?

  • Yes. The draft regulations, which will include the specific wording, will be published in Canada Gazette I in summer 2014. You will be provided with another opportunity to comment on the draft regulation amendments at that time.

Q5. Is there an opportunity to set up a meeting with NEB staff to discuss my comments on the NOPRC?

  • Yes. If you would like to set up a meeting to discuss any comments or questions that you may have regarding the NOPRC, please send a request to the contact person listed below.

Q6. Does the NOPRC 2013-01 affect the current requirements of the PCR Part I, PCR Part II, or the OPR?

  • No. The current NEB regulations relating to damage prevention will remain in force.

Q7. Which provinces currently have a One-Call Centre?

  • Currently the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick (Saint John ONLY), Ontario, Québec, and Saskatchewan have One-Call Centres.
  • The website www.clickbeforeyoudig.com provides a comprehensive and interactive portal where you can determine which One-Call centre you should contact depending on your location. As new One-Call Centres are established, information is added to the website above.

Q8. Why is the NEB making it mandatory for parties planning construction and excavation near a pipeline to make a locate request by contacting a One-Call Centre?

  • When the PCRs came into effect in 1988, One-Call Centres were not yet widely established in Canada. More recently these centres have an increasingly important role in the damage prevention process. As the federal regulatory champion of the Canadian Common Ground Alliance, the NEB works with regional partners and stakeholder groups to raise awareness about safe work practices around pipelines and other buried infrastructure. A mandatory requirement to contact a One-Call Centre ensures that all underground facilities are considered in a decision to proceed with construction or excavation in a certain area. This requirement will ensure companies and individuals are effective in managing safety and environmental protection when working near NEB-regulated pipelines.

Q9. I know of all the underground facility owners in the area where I am performing construction or excavation activities; can I just contact the companies directly?

  • No, the amendments to the PCR Part I will require anyone planning construction or excavation near a pipeline to make a locate request by contacting a One-Call Centre. If a One-Call Centre is not established in your area, then you are required to contact the pipeline company directly. A mandatory requirement to contact a One-Call Centre ensures that all underground facilities are considered in a decision to proceed with construction or excavation in a certain area.

Q10. Who is responsible for preventing damage to pipelines?

  • Preventing damage to pipelines is a shared responsibility. Pipeline companies and anyone living or working near pipelines have an important role to ensure that activities near pipelines are conducted safely. It is often human error that causes damage to pipelines that may put safety, communities and the environment at risk. Please be aware of pipelines and always call before you dig.

Q11. What are the current requirements of pipeline companies regarding damage prevention?

  • The NEB requires pipeline companies to anticipate, prevent, manage, and mitigate potentially dangerous conditions associated with their pipelines. This is done through a series of management and protection programs in accordance with the NEB's Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR) and Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Z662-11.
  • Current requirements for pipeline companies regarding damage prevention are outlined in the PCR Part II. This regulation includes the provision that companies establish a public awareness program to inform the public of the presence of the pipeline and the public's responsibilities regarding any construction or installation of a facility and any excavation that might affect the pipeline. The PCR Part II also requires that companies assess the effectiveness of their public awareness programs on a regular basis and maintain a record of that assessment.

Q12. Do any of the provinces have provincial legislation relating to a One-Call Centre?

  • Yes. Currently Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario have provincial legislation that requires the owners of an underground facility to be members of a One-Call Centre. Their legislation also requires that parties obtain a locate through a One-Call Centre before starting any construction or excavation activity.

Q13. How can I comment on the NOPRC 2013-01?

  • The closing date for comments is 18 December 2013. In addition to comments on the NOPRC 2013-01, the Board is seeking input on the type of guidance that may be required to accompany the proposed sections.

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; 1-877-288-8803
Email damagepreventionregs@neb-one.gc.ca

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