Emergency Response and Stakeholder Expectations - Questions and Answers

How does CSA Z246.2 align with the existing emergency management standards CSA Z731, NFPA 1600 or others? Has any work been done to help industry align all these standards?

Brian Lamond and Glenn Reierson: The technical subcommittee (TSC), for CSA Z246.2 was formed in 2012 and charged with development of an Emergency

Management Standard for the Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry Systems. The TSC undertook the project and in initial meetings it was decided to focus on Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response. The Z246.2 standard was released in both official languages of Canada in December 2014. The TSC used the referenced standards (CSA Z731, NFPA 1600) in the development of the Z246.2 standard (along with a number of other provincial, federal and international standards) and some of the material included in the standard and the annex material is aligned with those referenced standards.

The membership of the TSC was made up of Industry representatives, interested users and representatives of provincial and federal regulators, and there is preliminary discussion with a number of the regulatory members to reference the Z246.2 standard in new regulatory requirements. As we go forward with the standard, and the proposed referencing of the standard in regulation, there will be a number of opportunities to assist Industry users to better utilize the standard as a basis for Emergency Preparedness and Response. Also one of the benefits of a CSA standard is a requirement for an update to be done every 4 years and any clarification or changes that are needed will be done during these updates.

It seems that initial spill reports are sometimes under estimated as to volume. This leads to credibility issues. Comments?

Glenn Reierson: While it is true that failing to accurately report spill volume may negatively impact any organizations reputation/credibility, it’s important during the initial stages of any emergency that an organization demonstrates to the public that it is taking the necessary steps required to control the situation. Numerous studies have outlined that a slow response to an incident by an organization will have a significant negative reputation impact. That is why it’s important to quickly respond, assess the situation, and focus on protecting the safety of the public during a spill.

Calgary Fire Department dispatch has a standard of notifying pipeline companies of petroleum product spills in close proximity to pipeline corridors. Chief Paul Boissonneault agrees that there is a need for a common notification practice across Canada, as Calgary has. Does the NEB require pipeline company communication to municipalities regarding emergency response, as part of their emergency preparedness?

NEB: The NEB Onshore Pipeline Regulations require a pipeline company to:

  • liaise with agencies that may be involved in an emergency response on the pipeline and consult with them in the development and updates to the pipeline company’s emergency procedures manual (section 33);
  • inform all person who may be associated with an emergency response activity of the practices and procedures to be followed and make available to them the relevant information consistent with that specified in the emergency procedures manual (section 34); and
  • have a continuing education program for the police, fire departments, medical facilities, other appropriate organizations and agencies and the public residing adjacent to the pipeline to inform them of the location of the pipeline, potential emergency and the safety procedures to be followed (section 35).
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