Calgary, May 15th , 2014 – The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) acknowledges the announcement made yesterday by the Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario on a new set of measures to further enhance pipeline company liability and accountability around spill response.
This announcement supports the proposed legislation announced in June 2013 by the Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada’s former Minister of Natural Resources, that legislation be expanded to ensure that Canada’s regime for onshore oil and gas pipelines continues to be seen as world class.
CEPA supports Minister Rickford’s new liability guidelines, particularly the goal to develop a framework that focuses on spill prevention, emergency response and preparedness, and liability and compensation. This includes announcing legislation that will require companies operating major crude oil pipelines to have a minimum of $1 billionin financial capacity to respond to leaks, spills and ruptures.
Other measures noted in the Minister’s announcement include that companies hold a minimal requirement of accessible financial resources, that the National Energy Board maintains the authority to compel payments to the provinces, federal departments, First Nations and municipalities for spill response and that the NEB would be able to access federal monies if it is absolutely necessary, but that repayment of these would be done via cost recovery from industry.
CEPA also supports the federal government’s recognition that greater collaboration is needed between Aboriginal communities, government and industry around pipeline safety and emergency response.
This announcement comes at a time when the industry is under public scrutiny for safety and environmental impacts around existing pipelines and proposed projects.
“While the industry already has a very robust emergency response system in place, we welcome opportunities to improve and want to reassure the public that pipeline companies remain committed to having the financial capacity and personnel to immediately respond to any incidents,” says Brenda Kenny, president and CEO of CEPA.
“We’re also pleased to see that the NEB will also have the authority to assume control of an incident if a company was unable to respond to the incident – although this would be an extreme case,” she says.
Minister Rickford’s announcement supports the transmission pipeline industry’s commitment to excellence in emergency response and pipeline safety. The central objective of safeguarding the environment is paramount to both industry and government and as such CEPA has been actively engaged with the government regarding the proposed legislation.
“CEPA has supported this proposed legislation from the onset simply because anything that helps Canada continue moving toward being a word class regulatory regime is positive,” says Kenny.
CEPA members are committed to advancing a safety culture, throughout the industry, based on a strong foundation of leadership and continual improvement leading to zero incidents.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) 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, which amounts to approximately 22% of Canada’s mercantile trade.
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