ARCHIVED - NEB’s Response to Pipeline Safety Reviews - Follow-up

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2013-08-27

The National Energy Board (NEB or Board) has reviewed both the Senate Committee’s report on Moving Energy Safely: A Study of the Safe Transport of Hydrocarbons by Pipelines, Tankers and Railcars in Canada and the Alberta Pipeline Safety Review report.

The Board agrees with the recommendations relevant to our mandate that are outlined in the Senate Committee’s report on the safe transportation of hydrocarbons, and will continue current initiatives to further improve our regulatory framework based on their proposed improvements.

In addition to key regulatory improvements from the Board’s Action Plan on Safety and Environmental Protection, the NEB is currently developing a safety culture framework. The Board will release its definition of safety culture including the identification of attributes and indicators for public consultation in October of this year - this will address one of the key recommendations in the Senate Committee report.

With respect to the Alberta Pipeline Safety Review, the Board notes the recommendations presented within the report. While the report and its findings are targeted towards the Alberta provincial regulator, the NEB, as the regulator responsible for pipeline safety across Canada, already has in place a regulatory framework that reflects the essence of the recommendations made by Group 10. In noting the recommendations, the Board has identified some information in the report that could be potentially misleading and we would like to clarify some points about NEB regulations.

The Board’s regulatory strategy is performance-based for all companies it regulates and we use a risk-informed approach to determine appropriate compliance verification activities and degree of regulatory oversight. This approach includes specific requirements pertaining to integrity management such as a facilities’, location, type, age, and operating history.

The Board completes audits and inspections on a regular basis. In 2012, we received an additional $13.5 million to double the number of audits and increase inspections from 100 to 150. In the 2012/2013 fiscal, the Board completed six audits, and over 180 inspections (of which 34 were directly related to integrity management).

Click here for more information about how the NEB is protecting safety and the environment.

The Board has also noted that the comparison table on page 23 of the report does not take into account the incorporation of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements within our Onshore Pipeline Regulations. CSA standards contain provisions for the safe operation of energy infrastructure including requirements for the safety of pipelines at or near water crossings. The Board has available on its website FAQs that provides further information on the subject.

The NEB is a life-cycle regulator, and has regulation, guidance and policies in place to address every aspect of a project from design, through construction and operation, up to eventual abandonment. We will continue to do all we can to protect the public and the environment.

We have also provided some helpful links below to provide further information about how the Board regulates energy infrastructure in Canada.

Additional Links:

For media inquiries contact:

Erin Dottor
erin.dottor@neb-one.gc.ca
(403) 299-3712

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