Land Matters Group Steering Committee - 2013-14 Work Plan

During 2012-13, the Land Matters Group Steering Committee (LMG SC) met three times and:

  • identified current or emerging land matters issues impacting interested parties;
  • recommended improvements to regulating the facilities and/or activities of companies regulated by the National Energy Board (NEB); and
  • recommended strategies for engaging Canadians on the Board’s damage prevention framework and draft Administrative Monetary Penalties regulations, among other initiatives.

The Land Matter Group’s (LMG) first topic-specific sub-committee was also established in 2012. Through numerous meetings, the Public Involvement Workshop Sub-Committee refined the input gathered at the Board’s November 2011 workshop on Draft Expectations - Public Involvement Program [Filing A22289] and provided written recommendations to the Board. In its response [Document A3C5J0] the Board noted that many of the sub-committee’s recommendations were complementary to and supportive of Board initiatives in progress. Of particular note, the Board:

  • will be integrating components of the NEB Draft Expectations - Public Involvement Program into its Filing Manual to clarify company consultation filing requirements.
  • strongly encouraged industry to develop, adopt and promote best practices and training standards for land agent conduct.

2013-14 Workplan

Issues and proposed approach for upcoming year

Issues for Discussion listed in Appendix 1 include ongoing issues from the previous year and anticipated issues that will be discussed in upcoming meetings. The LMG SC will also continue to identify issues for discussion throughout the year.

Activities and Timelines

The following outlines the scheduled meetings and documentation of the LMG SC’s meetings, however, it does not represent an exhaustive list of activities for the LMG:

Activities and Timelines
Activity Deadline
LMG SC Conference calls - solicitation for agenda items Monthly, where there are items to discuss
Distribution of agenda and background documents At least 1 week prior to meeting
LMG SC meeting June, September, December, March
Draft minutes from LMG SC meeting distributed for comment 3 weeks after meeting
Minutes posted on NEB website 1 week after minutes are approved
Annual report approved by LMG SC At, or shortly after, June meeting
Annual workplan approved by LMG SC At, or shortly after, June meeting

Appendix 1 - Issues for Discussion

Appendix 1 - Issues for Discussion
Issue Context Rationale References Next Steps Timing Role of LMG SC
1. Damage Prevention Regulations NEB is in the process of developing new regulations related to damage prevention, which is leading to changes in the current crossing regulations. Enhance accountability for commitments made, on key issues of concern identified by the LMG. Draft damage prevention regulations

Comment Letters on Discussion Paper - Proposed Changes to NEB Regulations for Damage Prevention

Guidance and exemption order for agricultural activities [Filing A27788]
NEB to issue a Notice of Proposed Regulatory Change (NOPRC), which highlights proposed changes without regulatory wording (fall 2013).

NEB to issue proposed wording for regulations (spring 2014).
NOPRC is anticipated to be out in the fall of 2013.

End of 2013 - LMG SC members to provide individual feedback.

Facilitated discussion at the January LMG SC meeting.

Final wording expected spring of 2014.
Providing feedback on proposed changes through participation in a facilitated discussion at next LMG SC meeting.
2. Adminis-trative Monetary Penalties - implementation AMPs were added to NEB legislation as a result of the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act, July 2012.  Many of the issues raised during consultations and the Gazette period were related to implementation issues.
AMPs apply to industry, landowners, and land users.
Proposed regulations

NEB Act

Comments on Gazette I
NEB to explore possibility of providing clarity on how AMPs will be applied to individuals vs. persons. NEB project manager to bring options for LMG SC, spring of 2014. Role of LMG SC to be established following presentation of item by NEB project manager.
3. NEB Act section 55.2: "standing" and Application to Participate process Changes were made to NEB legislation as a result of the Jobs, Growth and Long-Term Prosperity Act, July 2012. Legislation now indicates that for facilities hearings the Board must hear from those who are directly affected, and may hear from those who have relevant information or expertise. The NEB has implemented a new application to participate form for facilities hearings, and this affects any persons who intend to participate in those hearings. NEB Act

NEB Guidance
NEB to include SC members in the testing and review of the online Application to Participate form. ATP form testing expected to begin in November 2013. Providing feedback on the process and format of the online Application to Participate form, as part of the NEB rollout.
4. Land Agent conduct / Right of Way Agreements LMCI Final Report, Stream 1 identified a need to address land agent conduct, and this was reconfirmed by LMG Public Involvement Workshop Sub-Committee. The Board encouraged industry to develop best practices for land agent conduct. LMCI further identified a need to promote best practices in land use agreements. Healthy land agent - landowner relationships are critical to ensuring the rights and interests of Canadians are respected.

Improve consistent use of best practices, and facilitate the development of guidance for both landowners and industry.
LMCI Final Report [Filing A21836]

NEB Oversight of Public Involvement Programs by Regulated Companies, and NEB Response 17 October 2012 [Filing A48574]

CEPA and NEB Landowner Surveys
CEPA to provide draft land agent code of conduct and standard ROW agreement to entire LMG SC to be worked at  upcoming meetings. Land Agent Code of Conduct - end of 2013.

Land Agent Code of Conduct training program - 1st quarter 2014.

Standard ROW agreement - end of 1st quarter 2014.
To provide advice on content and format of code of conduct and ROW agreements, through facilitated discussion at LMG SC meeting.
5. Abandonment Research Studies Land Matters Consultation Initiative (LMCI) Final Report, Stream 4: Physical issues of Abandonment identified a need for more research, and NEB commissioned the Det Norske Veritas (DNV) report (November 2010), which identified issues to be researched.
Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) issued research contract to Petroleum Technology Alliance of Canada (PTAC) based on DNV report.
Opportunity to provide unbiased data on physical abandonment issues
Information is relevant to future facilities and abandonment applications.
LMCI Final Report [Filing A21836]

DNV Report [PDF 554 KB]

PTAC Terms of Reference and RFP
UPA/CFA committee delegates continue to provide status updates to LMG SC.

CEPA to make finalized first report available publically.

NEB to make minutes of PTAC steering committee meetings available in both languages.
Ongoing, as there are several research studies planned which have different timeframes associated with them.

NEB has translated the minutes and both languages are available on the NEB website.
Advisory, as members of the SC are on the steering committee for the research projects.

The NEB will also increase transparency of the process by making minutes available in both official languages.
6. Bilingual regulatory process issues Issue discussed at December LMG SC meeting. Increasing number of NEB regulatory proceedings are of interest to both French and English participants.  The NEB process does not currently require bilingual submissions. Minutes of LMG meeting

Official Languages Act
CEPA to provide an update on progress since December meeting.

LMG SC members to determine if further work is justified (possibly a sub-committee).
Complete - CEPA has communicated to member companies in Quebec who are pursing projects that information they produce as part of the regulatory process are subject to translation in French in a timely manner.  
7. Outcomes from Safety Forum - Transparency of Information The NEB held a Safety Forum in June 2013 where four areas of future work were identified.  Of particular interest is the project related to transparency of information. Increased transparency of information is critical to public understanding of pipeline safety and trust in the industry. Carl Weimer presentation, NEB Safety Forum [PDF 3113 KB]

NEB Safety Forum

NEB Safety Forum Report
NEB project manager will be asked to bring options for consultation to the LMG SC. Anticipated to start in 2014. Role of LMG SC to be established following presentation of item by NEB project manager.
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