The role of pipelines in Canada was hotly contested in 2014. You’ve probably seen footage of pipeline protests and read economic arguments from pipeline proponents.
Here are four ways the industry has worked this year to earn the trust of Canadians.
Pipeline operators took a big step in 2014 to better understand the concerns of critics and stakeholders. CEPA invited eight people, who work outside the industry, to be part of an External Advisory Panel (EAP). These panellists represent a variety of backgrounds including Aboriginal Peoples, academia, media and landowner groups and now meet regularly with CEPA to share their ideas and concerns.
Why this matters: Listening to feedback from critics and stakeholders will help the industry continuously improve by giving CEPA insight on how it can address issues that matter to Canadians.
Through the CEPA Integrity First® program, pipeline companies worked together in 2014 to finalize guidance documents outlining industry best practices and requirements for pipeline integrity and emergency management. Plus, a guidance document on control room management is currently being pilot tested.
Why this matters: CEPA Integrity First is about making sure Canada’s pipeline network remains one of the most environmentally sound and safest in the world. These guidance documents help ensure all CEPA’s members are continuously improving their performance by constantly evaluating their systems, processes and practices.
In April, CEPA announced that land representatives (such as land agents and community relations personnel) who work for its member companies that operate federally-regulated pipelines now have to complete CEPA’s land representatives industry orientation. They also have to agree to a code of conduct (PDF) and complete professional ethics training, which will give all representatives a common set of principles and values to govern their interactions with landowners.
Why this matters: This program will help ensure dialogue between land representatives and Canadian landowners is respectful, consistent, accurate and transparent.
In September, CEPA’s members took part in a joint emergency management exercise. This “coming together” of companies was unprecedented and helped strengthen the industry’s ability to work together in the event of an emergency. The exercise was aimed at testing the Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement, which CEPA’s members signed in late 2013. The agreement formalized the industry practice of sharing resources between companies in the event of a significant incident.
Why this matters: The industry’s number one priority is zero incidents, but if a leak occurs, pipeline companies will have improved their ability to respond quickly and effectively by working together.
So, what will the pipeline conversation look like in 2015? The industry will continue to take steps to improve performance and earn the trust of Canadians, but what happens in the debate is up to you.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association represents Canada’s transmission pipeline companies who operate approximately 115,000 kilometres of pipelines in Canada. In 2013, these energy highways moved approximately 1.2 billion barrels of liquid petroleum products and 5.3 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.