ARCHIVED - Report on Progress - May 2012

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The National Energy Board (NEB or the Board) released its Action Plan on Safety and Environmental Protection 2011-2012 on 18 July 2011. The Action Plan will improve results in four key areas - worker safety, integrity of installations, damage prevention, and emergency preparedness and response. The Action Plan is part of our focus on continual improvement and holding those we regulate accountable for results that are in the public interest.

This is the NEB’s second report on progress for the Action Plan. Our first report in January 2012 showed that the NEB had completed two of seven actions within the plan and demonstrated progress on all others. We are now pleased to report that three more actions are complete. Detailed project information is available from the Action Plan main webpage by clicking on individual actions. The following is a summary of progress to date on each of the actions committed to and activities planned in the coming months:

1 Clarifying Expectations

Clarifying Expectations
1.1

Finalize a Proposed Regulatory Change (PRC) for management system requirements to the Onshore Pipeline Regulations, 1999 (OPR-99) by 30 September 2011

PRC 2011-01 was issued on 29 July 2011. This PRC clarifies the Board’s requirement that regulated companies follow a management system approach to meet their obligations under the National Energy Board Act and the OPR-99.

Future activities: this action is complete.

The Board is proceeding to amend the OPR-99 to include the PRC. Please visit the NEB’s website under Acts and Regulations to find updates to the OPR-99 amendment project.

1.2

Provide clear guidance on compliance and enforcement for damage prevention by 31 December 2011

On 29 February 2012, the Board published a compliance enforcement framework that provides guidance on how the NEB will respond to reports of unauthorized excavation and construction activity near federally regulated pipelines. Please visit our website under Damage Prevention for information on the framework and the NEB’s overall approach to damage prevention.

Future activities: this action is complete.

1.3

Identify key issues and develop a plan to achieve regulatory clarity for damage prevention by 29 February 2012

In November 2011, the Board met with various representatives of the damage prevention community, including those who provided comments on the proposed Damage Prevention Regulations (DPR) to discuss key issues to be addressed to reduce risks near pipelines. Feedback collected during the discussion, in addition to concerns heard throughout the process of developing the proposed DPR, assisted the Board in developing a plan to achieve regulatory clarity for its damage prevention framework, which was released on 29 February 2012.

Future activities: this action is complete

The Board is now developing a regulatory proposal to identify how it can streamline and improve current and previously proposed damage prevention provisions. Before any new regulatory tool is implemented, there will be further opportunities for stakeholders to provide their views. Please visit the NEB website under Damage Prevention for updates on the Damage Prevention Framework Plan.

1.4

Improve measurement of industry performance for safety and environmental protection by 29 February 2012

The Board completed consultation on draft revised performance measures in October 2011. The Board finalized the measures and on 28 March 2012 directed thirty companies to report on the measures. Companies were notified on 7 June 2012 that the format for reporting the measures is now on the NEB web site.

Future activities: this action is complete.

2 Improve accessibility of information

Improve accessibility of information
2.1

Improve accessibility of information on the NEB's programs and the performance of regulated companies with respect to safety and environmental protection by 31 December 2011

On 30 August 2011, the NEB announced that it would begin to post documents related to Board-initiated safety and environmental compliance actions received or issued through the Secretary (except where information is protected by law) under the National Energy Board Act. This includes:

  • a. Board Orders and letters;
  • b. filings and correspondence regarding compliance with conditions of approvals and other Board Orders;
  • c. filings and correspondence from companies to the Board related to safety and environmental compliance actions, including Corrective Action Plans
  • d. final operational Audit Reports.

Future activities: this action is complete.

Recent compliance actions taken by the NEB to enhance safety and environmental protection and associated filings can be found on our website under Safety or Environment.

3 Take leadership on key safety and environmental protection issues

Take leadership on key safety and environmental protection issues
3.1

Work with other regulators to identify key issues and potential solutions for safety and environmental protection by 30 September 2012

Following the Incident Reduction Workshop and the Arctic Offshore Drilling Review, the NEB is working to identify and act on key safety and environmental protection issues relevant to the performance of regulated companies in the following two areas

  • a. implementing highly integrated and effective management systems
  • b. growing a robust and sustainable safety culture

The NEB has begun discussions with provincial regulators on these issues. This work will inform the agenda for the NEB’s pipeline and facility Safety Forum committed to under action 3.2 below.

Future activities: the NEB will continue to collaborate in the lead up to the NEB Safety Forum.

3.2

Convene a forum on pipeline and facility safety - Spring 2013

Work on the Safety Forum has commenced by defining the format, potential issues to be explored and identifying speakers.

Future activities: announcements on Forum subject matter and speakers should begin by the fall 2012.

 

________________________________
L. George
Acting Secretary of the Board

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