More than ever, organizations in the pipeline industry are getting together to develop ideas on making pipelines even safer. The Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement (MEAA), which formalizes a practice of resource sharing between our member companies in an emergency, is a great example of this collaboration. The announcement of the agreement in November gave us the idea for this post. We wanted to tell Canadians about the ways pipeline companies are working together to improve safety. So, here they are:
The CEPA Integrity First® program is a way for CEPA and its member companies to jointly develop best practices for the industry in areas such as safety and the environment. The focus of the program right now is on pipeline integrity and emergency management. Through this program, we track our industry’s collective performance in these areas and then report publically on how we’re doing. This program allows transmission pipeline operators to continuously improve while being transparent with the public.
The really cool thing about the CEPA Foundation is that it brings together the best minds from across the energy pipeline industry to develop solutions and promote research in areas such as safety, technology and environmental responsibility (PDF). The foundation aims to get leaders from across the industry (not just operators – we’re talking engineering firms, legal firms, environmental firms . . .) collaborating on ways to improve the industry.
When the foundation met for the first time in October, it already had 84 companies involved (only a month after starting the initiative), and that number is expected to grow.
The logic behind the Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement (MEAA) is simple: two is better than one. This agreement, which formalizes an existing practice, allows any one of CEPA’s member companies to ask for assistance from another member company in the event of a major incident. Companies can share resources such as personnel, equipment or specialized response advice. The MEAA will come into effect on Jan. 1.
“Our member companies are committed to zero incidents. However, in the off-chance that an incident does occur on any of our members’ pipeline systems, this agreement will enable our member companies to work quickly and collaboratively, without hesitation,” said Dr. Brenda Kenny, former president and CEO of CEPA. “This industry level agreement is a firm indication that the industry is listening and working collectively to meet the needs and expectations of Canadians.”
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 115,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2012, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Our members transport 97 per cent of Canada’s daily natural gas and onshore crude oil from producing regions to markets throughout North America.