Order MO-002-2017 Compelling Publication of Emergency Management Program Information on Company Websites

Order MO-002-2017 Compelling Publication of Emergency Management Program Information on Company Websites [PDF 149 KB]

File OF-Surv-Gen-04
30 January 2017

To: All Companies Operating Oil or Gas Pipelines under the Jurisdiction of the National Energy Board

Order MO-002-2017 Compelling Publication of Emergency Management Program Information on Company Websites.

Background

On 5 April 2016 the National Energy Board (NEB or Board) issued Order MO-006-2016 requiring companies that hold an authorization to construct or operate an oil or gas pipeline, or a gas processing plant, under the jurisdiction of the National Energy Board (company or companies) to publish their current Emergency Procedures Manuals (Manuals) applicable to NEB-regulated facilities on company websites.

In Order MO-006-2016, the Board also noted that making Manuals public was the first step in making more emergency management information publicly available. The Board had previously consulted Canadians through the Emergency Management Transparency Consultation process on the type of emergency management information that should be made public. A significant amount of the information that Canadians requested be made available related to a pipeline company’s Emergency Management Program (EM Program) required under the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR). The EM Program contains information that is not set out in the Manual.

On 8 September 2016, the Board initiated a comment process on its Notice of Intent to Order Pipeline Companies to Publish Emergency Management Program Information (Notice of Intent or Order) on company websites. The closing date for comments on the Notice of Intent was 11 October 2016.

Summary of Comments Received on the Notice of Intent and the Board’s Response

The Board received eight letters of comment in response to its Notice of Intent. Comments received may be viewed here on the Board’s website. The Board has carefully considered the comments received and these comments have resulted in changes to both the draft Order and corresponding guidance:

  • The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) requested that the Board extend the deadline for publishing of information from 31 March 2017 to 30 September 2017 and noted that its member companies face resourcing and execution challenges in the spring 2017 time frame.  This request was supported by other pipeline industry commenters. The Board is of the view that the requested 6 month extension would result in an unreasonable time frame for making EM Program information publically available. However, after considering the reasons for the request, the Board has decided to extend the deadline by 4 months to 31 July 2017.
  • The Board views the rights of Canadians to have access to EM Program information in either official language as a very important consideration. In response to comments from Équiterre and Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal  (CMM), the Board has modified the Order to compel companies to publish EM Program information in French and English if the company operates pipelines in the Province of Quebec or the Province of New Brunswick.
  • CEPA, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and NEB-regulated pipeline companies commented that the confidentiality and exemption provisions within the draft Order were appropriate. Conversely, Équiterre suggested that they undergo significant revision. Among other comments, Équiterre suggested that the Order apply to deactivated, decommissioned, and abandoned pipelines as defined in the OPR.

    The Board has decided to not make any changes to the confidentiality and exemption provisions within the Order. The Board notes that the confidentiality and exemption provisions mirror those included in Order MO-006-2016 regarding online publication of emergency procedures manuals, and are closely aligned with sections 16.1 and 16.2 of the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act), which speak to confidentiality of information and remain available despite the Order. The Board is of the view that the confidentiality provisions strike a reasonable balance between public access to information and protecting sensitive information. Further, the purpose of the exemption provisions is to focus the Order on pipelines with the greatest potential for environmental and socio-economic effects in the event of an emergency, hence exemptions are provided for deactivated, decommissioned and abandoned pipelines as they are purged and cleaned and not likely to contain any appreciable amount of hydrocarbon products. Should the operating status of a pipeline change (e.g. from deactivated to reactivated), the Order would then apply to the pipeline unless another exemption provision applied.
  • CMM, the City of Vancouver, and Équiterre  submitted comments that have resulted in changes to the guidance in a number of areas, including, but not limited to:
    • Addressing regional-specific, site-specific, and situation-specific concerns;
    • Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Controls;
    • Stakeholder Liaison to Prepare for Emergencies; and
    • Training and Exercises.
  • Specifically, the Board notes that it has broadened the language in the guidance which speaks to the importance of addressing “regional- and site-specific” considerations to also include “situation-specific” considerations to capture considerations such as oil fate and behaviour and the need to consider the management of emergent volunteers following a spill.
  • CMM suggested that municipal emergency responders be allowed to participate with the NEB in the assessment process to determine whether a company has published enough information on its EM Program. The Board does not see the need for a specific process to allow municipal emergency responders to determine compliance with the Order. However, the Board encourages any party with concerns regarding compliance with the Order to express those concerns to the Board for appropriate follow-up. The Board will address any compliance issues with the Order through the Board’s existing compliance verification processes including assessments regarding liaison with first responders and continuing education programs.
  • CMM, the City of Vancouver, and Équiterre expressed concerns that municipalities, first responders, and the public may not have access to important information to prepare for and respond to an emergency. The Board notes that the purpose of the Order is to provide publically available information as to how a company plans for and responds to emergencies and the Order includes guidance in this regard. The intent of the Order is not to require a company to publish the entirety of its EM Program online. The availability of more detailed information for municipalities, first responders, and the public is already addressed through other regulatory requirements such as sections 33 to 35 of the OPR. These sections require liaison and consultation with those agencies and organizations that may be involved in an emergency response and the development of a continuing education program to inform stakeholders of the appropriate procedures to follow in the event of an emergency.
  • CMM, the City of Vancouver, and Équiterre also submitted comments that, in the Board’s view, are beyond the scope of the initiative to publish EM Program information online, and therefore were not considered at this time in the context of the Order.
  • CAPP requested that further clarification be provided on the application of the Order to oil processing facilities and well permits. The Board has not made any changes to the Order in this regard and is of the view that the Order is sufficiently clear that it only  applies to  pipelines and related facilities regulated under the OPR and the National Energy Board Processing Plant Regulations (PPR).
  • CEPA requested that the terms "specific infrastructure" and "remoteness of facilities" be clarified in the guidance. The Board has clarified these terms.

Decision of the Board

After considering the comments received on its Notice of Intent, the Board has decided to require companies, with some exceptions, to publish EM Program information on their publicly available websites by 31 July 2017. The Order MO-002-2017 is enclosed. Appendix A of the Order contains the minimum EM Program information to be published, informed by comments received on the Notice of Intent and the Emergency Management Transparency Consultation process.

Contents of the Order

The Order applies to all companies that hold an authorization to operate a pipeline under the NEB Act. A few exceptions are made for companies with short, small diameter oil pipelines that are not near water bodies or drinking water sources and small diameter gas pipelines in unpopulated areas. The Order would not apply to oil or gas pipelines that are regulated by provincial authorities.

The Order also applies to facilities associated with pipelines regulated under the PPR.

The Order includes guidance regarding the information that should be published. Information in the guidance document has been grouped by topics and elements of an expected EM Program required under the OPR. Guidance has also been provided as to how to consider regional-specific, site-specific, and situation-specific information when publishing information online.

In line with Order MO-006-2016, companies would not be expected to publish sensitive information such as personal information (names, medical and contact information etc.) and security information (for example, information that would disclose a vulnerability about a particular structure).

Additional Information

If you have any questions please contact Kent Lien, Technical Leader – Emergency Management at 403-620-2348 or via email at kent.lien@neb-one.gc.ca.

Yours truly,

Orignal signed by L. George for

Sheri Young
Secretary of the Board

Enclosure

ORDER MO-002-2017

IN THE MATTER OF the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act) and the regulations made thereunder; and

IN THE MATTER OF the safety and security of pipelines regulated under the National Energy Board Act
File OF-Surv-Gen-04.

BEFORE the National Energy Board (Board) on 1 December 2016.

WHEREAS on 27 April 2015 the Board commenced a public consultation process on what emergency management information should be made available to the public;

AND WHEREAS on 25 June 2015 the Board received comments from members of the public on what emergency management information should be made available;

AND WHEREAS subsection 32(1) of the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR) requires companies operating oil and gas pipelines to develop, implement, and maintain an Emergency Management Program (EM Program) that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates conditions during an emergency that could adversely affect the safety of workers or the public, the environment, or property;

AND WHEREAS this order applies to pipelines regulated under the OPR and to facilities associated with pipelines and regulated under the National Energy Board Processing Plant Regulations (PPR);

AND WHEREAS the Board may order a company to take measures that the Board considers necessary for the safety and security of a pipeline;

AND WHEREAS the Board has found that the publication of EM Program information is necessary for the safety and security of oil and gas pipelines, the environment and the public with few exceptions;

IT IS ORDERED THAT pursuant to paragraph 12(1)(b) and subsection 48(1.1) of the NEB Act:

  1. All companies that hold an authorization to construct and operate an oil or a gas pipeline or a gas processing plant under the NEB Act must:
    1. publish EM Program information applicable to their NEB-regulated facilities on their or their affiliate’s internet site for public viewing by 31 July 2017, unless the Board otherwise directs. Companies may protect from publication, information:
      1. about an identifiable individual, including his or her name, phone number, email address, mailing address and medical condition;
      2. where there is a real and substantial risk that its disclosure will impair the security of pipelines, power lines, buildings, structures or systems, including computer or communications systems or methods employed to protect them;
      3. that, if disclosed, could reasonably be expected to result in a material loss or gain to a person affected by publication of the EM Program information or that could prejudice the person’s competitive position;
      4. about the location of species at risk and heritage resourcesFootnote 1; and
      5. about a person, such as a daycare, school, or hospital that the person requested be withheld from publication.
    2. publish EM Program information in accordance with the guidance provided in Appendix A;
    3. publish EM Program information in French and English if the company operates pipelines in the Province of Quebec or the Province of New Brunswick.
    4. electronically file a written confirmation from the company’s accountable officer with the Secretary of the Board by 15 August 2017 at Information Filings unless the Board otherwise directs, that:
      1. the company’s EM Program information has been published in accordance with Clauses 1a, 1b, and 1c. of this Order and the company has provided a link to the EM Program information to the Board and to any interested person that has expressed to the company an interest in the published EM Program information; or
      2. the company is exempt from publishing EM Program information based on the criteria provided in section 3 of this Order.
    5. update the published EM Program information on an ongoing basis to reflect any changes or amendments made.
    6. electronically file a letter with the Secretary of the Board at Information Filings, notifying the Board of any changes to the website link and provide the updated link within 2 weeks of any change to the link.
    7. electronically file a written confirmation from the company’s accountable officer with the Secretary of the Board by 30 April of each year at Information Filings, confirming the status of the company’s EM Program information considering clauses 1a. to 1f. of this Order as applicable.
  2. All companies that receive an authorization to construct and operate an oil or a gas pipeline or a gas processing plant, under the NEB Act following issuance of this Order must comply with Clauses 1a. to 1f. of this Order, as applicable, within 6 months of commencing operation.
  3. EM Program information is not required to be published for the following facilities:
    1. Gas pipeline systems less than or equal to 168.3 millimetres in outside nominal diameter that are only in a class 1 location, as determined by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standard Z662Footnote 2;
    2. Oil pipeline systems less than or equal to 168.3 millimetres in outside nominal diameter that are less than 12 kilometres in length and located more than 500 metres from a water bodyFootnote 3 or a drinking water source;
    3. Deactivated, decommissioned and abandoned pipelines as defined in the OPR; and
    4. Deactivated, decommissioned and abandoned processing plants as defined in the PPR.

NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD

Orignal signed by L. George for

Sheri Young
Secretary of the Board

APPENDIX A
Order  MO-002-2017

GUIDANCE FOR ONLINE PUBLICATION OF PIPELINE
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM INFORMATION

Background

The Board conducted a public consultation process in 2015 to solicit the views of Canadians about emergency management information that would be most useful to them. Canadians expressed concerns about the transparency of emergency management information. Concerns expressed included the clarity and consistency of Emergency Procedures Manuals required under the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR), and regulatory practices used to verify that the public, municipalities, emergency responders, indigenous peoples and other stakeholders have the information they need, when they need it, for pipeline emergency response.

Many observations were received on what information would be useful for both preparing for emergency response and for responding. These observations have been posted and summarized on the NEB website. A significant amount of the information that was requested to be made public related to a pipeline companies’ overall Emergency Management Program (EM Program) required under the OPR. The EM Program contains information that is not set out in the Emergency Procedures Manuals such as processes used to develop emergency preparedness and response procedures. Thus, the Board requires the online publishing of EM Program information to make such information readily available to interested persons.

Regulatory Requirements

Subsection 32(1) of the OPR requires a company to develop, implement, and maintain an EM Program that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates conditions during an emergency that could adversely affect property, the environment or the safety of workers or the public.

An EM Program or a safety program is based on the relevant policies and goals set by the company.

A company’s management system applies to the EM Program. In order for an EM Program to be systematic, comprehensive, explicit, and proactive, it must include the management system processes referenced at section 6.5 of the OPR. This includes processes to identify hazards, manage risks, train and manage workers, communicate, manage records and documentation, monitor and evaluate progress and continually improve performance.

A company’s management system provides coordination between the EM Program and the company’s programs for safety, security, integrity and environmental protection.

The EM Program must meet the requirements of section 4, and sections 53 and 55 of the OPR. This includes the requirement to conduct regular internal audits of the EM Program, with a maximum interval of three years.

Annex A of the OPR provides further information on an EM Program, including hazard assessment, the emergency procedures manual, agency liaison, communications, continuing education, emergency response processes and capability, emergency response exercises and equipment.

Guidance for Publishing of EM Program Information

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for the online publishing of EM Program information. The topics and objectives noted are key components for describing a NEB-regulated company EM Program to interested persons on the company’s website. Information in the guidance document has been grouped by topics and elements of an expected EM Program required under the OPR. The guidance, while providing minimum required content, is not exhaustive. A company has flexibility in providing the required information with the guiding principle that sufficient information must be provided to allow the reader to understand the EM Program and how it informs appropriate emergency response planning. Annex A of the OPR should be referred to for additional guidance.

Of particular importance is the need for published information to address regional-specific, site-specific, and situation-specific considerations that may affect emergency response procedures and how these are considered within the EM Program. These considerations include, for example:

  • Residents living near the pipeline;
  • Indigenous communities;
  • Population density;
  • Potential for emergent volunteers;
  • Specific infrastructure that may be impacted in an emergency such as public institutions, transportation networks, and industrial facilities;
  • Drinking water, water intakes and agricultural water supplies;
  • Recreational areas;
  • Species at risk and other receptors of concern;
  • Protected areas;
  • High consequence areas as defined in CSA Z246.2;
  • Physical and chemical characteristics of all products transported on the pipeline and their potential fate and behaviour;
  • Response limitations and access concerns due to factors such as remoteness of facilities, lack of roads, topography, and inclement weather and environmental conditions such as snowpack and rainfall;
  • Coordination of company emergency response plans with relevant federal, provincial, municipal and Indigenous community emergency response plans and regulatory requirements; and
  • Level of first responder training and others potentially involved in an emergency response activity.

Information on the following topics and elements as they relate to a company’s EM Program should be published:

Introduction

Objective: High level summary of the company’s commitment and ability to prepare for and respond to emergencies. Identify that an Emergency Management Program (EM Program) is subject to continual improvement and that the Emergency Procedures Manual (also known as Emergency Response Plan in CSA Z246.2) is a part of the overall EM Program. Identify that all hazards have been considered and mitigation is in place to address them and any potential effects arising from an emergency. Provide an overview of regulatory requirements.

Key Public Safety Information

Objective: Identify how the public, First Responders, municipalities, Indigenous communities and provincial and federal agencies are notified of an emergency, how the public can notify the company of an issue, and how the information is updated and kept current. Provide critical information for public protection (e.g. information on the products in the pipeline and associated hazards; actions to take in the event of an emergency; hot lines and/or websites set up to respond to inquiries during an emergency; air monitoring; and how water supplies will be protected and what happens in the event of a water supply becoming contaminated).

Emergency Procedures Manual

Objective: Provide an overview of the contents of the Emergency Procedures Manual(s). Identify that emergency response is guided by an Emergency Procedures Manual(s) and that it is available for viewing on the company public website. An explanation of why some information is redacted should be provided. Provide an overview of relevant supporting documents such as geographic response plans, tactical plans, wildlife response and rehabilitation plans, and waste management plans.

Emergency Management Program Summary

Objective: Explain that the company has an EM Program and its purpose. Enumerate key elements, as set out below, summarized in plain language, for topics that relate directly to how stakeholders are engaged and how protection of the public and the environment is addressed.

  1. Policy and Commitment
    Objective: Identify and summarize company policies intended to ensure activities are conducted in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the public, workers, the pipeline, and the protection of property and the company’s commitment to those policies and goals.
  2. Goals and Objectives
    Objective: Identify key goals and objectives such as: engagement on planning; training of first responders; exercises; availability of equipment; response times; incident management; liaison and continuous education. Objectives as well as targets should include regional-specific considerations such as for large municipalities and high consequence areas (as defined in CSA Z246.2). Identify how the EM Program integrates with other programs required under the OPR.
  3. Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Controls and Clean-up and Remediation
    Objective: Provide a summary of what hazards are likely to occur based on the product and the geography and what consequences would be prevented and addressed. (This will be regional in some cases).  The summary should identify the risk analysis process used, modeling and methodology to support it, and how stakeholder input was gathered and considered. There should be information with regard to the extent of emergency response preparedness (i.e., types and amount of equipment, rationale for location of equipment, MOUs, mutual aid agreements, contractors, and clean-up resources). Decision making for response strategies and clean-up and remediation should be discussed.
  4. Stakeholder Liaison to Prepare for Emergencies
    Objective: Explain how liaison activities are conducted to assure interoperability (i.e. communication, coordination during an incident, training, capacity, resources and agreements) amongst all persons, agencies and organizations. Explain how consultation occurs on developing and updating the Emergency Procedures Manual. Identify who, what, where and on what frequency, liaison and consultation occurs.  It should include regional-specific considerations, where applicable, such as for large municipalities and high consequence areas (as defined in CSA Z246.2).
  5. Continuing Education
    Objective: Summarize the continuing education program for police, fire departments, medical facilities, and other appropriate organizations and agencies and the public residing adjacent to the pipeline. It should include how responders are educated on safety procedures versus how the public are informed of them. It should also include examples of safety procedures (e.g. First Responder health and safety, scene arrival protocols, chemical hazards, spills and gas leaks, confined spaces, Personal Protective Equipment for First Responders). Describe how interested persons can engage in the emergency response planning process.
  6. Training and Exercises
    Objective: Demonstrate that the appropriate training is provided for emergency preparedness and response and that it is conducted at all levels of the company including first responders. It should identify who, what, where and on what frequency, training and exercises occur. Scenarios exercised should be discussed and rationale should be provided for the scenarios.
  7. Incident Management System
    Objective: Focus on incident command with a brief explanation of how an emergency is coordinated, including but not limited to, a description of the incident management system to be used, capacity of company to fill incident management system positions, and location of incident command posts. Identify how provincial and other agencies are integrated in the incident management system structure and who is in control of what aspects of an incident. Describe what emergency response activities are carried out by the company versus activities carried out by first responders and others involved during an incident.
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