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Minister Rickford Announces Latest Actions to Enhance Canada's World-Class Pipeline Safety System
May 14, 2014 Vancouver Natural Resources Canada
The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, joined by the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, announced new measures to further enhance Canada’s world-class pipeline safety system. Today’s announcement builds on significant steps taken in June 2013.
The new measures announced today include:
- Introducing absolute liability for all National Energy Board (NEB)-regulated pipelines, meaning companies will be liable for costs and damages irrespective of fault – $1 billion for major oil pipelines; companies continue to have unlimited liability when at fault or negligent;
- Developing a strategy with industry and Aboriginal communities in an effort to increase Aboriginal Peoples’ participation in pipeline safety operations, including planning, monitoring, incident response and related employment and business opportunities;
- Providing the NEB authority to order reimbursement of any cleanup costs incurred by governments, communities or individuals;
- Giving the NEB the ability to provide guidance on the use of the best available technologies used in federally-regulated pipeline projects. This includes materials, construction methods, and emergency response techniques; and
- Providing the NEB authority and resources to assume control of incident response if a company is unable or unwilling to do so (i.e. in exceptional circumstances).
Minister Rickford linked improvements to pipeline safety to the Government of Canada’s plan for Responsible Resource Development, which strengthens environmental protection, enhances Aboriginal engagement and streamlines the review of major resource projects to make the process more timely and predictable.
Our government is committed to taking concrete actions to strengthen pipeline safety, enhance Aboriginal participation in pipeline safety activities and modernize the National Energy Board Act. New energy projects will provide Aboriginal Canadians with training as well as jobs in the areas of monitoring, planning and emergency response operations as well as supporting business opportunities.
These new measures enhance Canada’s already world-class pipeline safety system and build on the principles of incident prevention, preparedness, and liability. As part of this commitment, a number of amendments to the National Energy Board Act are also proposed to improve transparency and operations of the Board and its enabling legislation.
- Currently, 99.999 percent of the oil and petroleum product transported on federally regulated pipelines is carried out safely, and the measures announced today aim to improve Canada’s record even further.
- The rate of spills on federally regulated pipelines in Canada was 57 percent lower than in Europe and 60 percent lower than in the United States over the past decade.
- New funding provided in Economic Action Plan 2012 allowed the National Energy Board to increase annual inspections of oil and gas pipelines by 50 percent and double the number of comprehensive audits to improve pipeline safety across Canada.
- In the next decade, over 400,000 Aboriginal youth will be entering the workforce, creating an unprecedented opportunity to address the need for new workers in the oil and gas industry.
- In 2012, more than 13,500 Aboriginal people worked in the Canadian energy sector.
“Our government is demonstrating consistent, significant action to further enhance Canada’s pipeline safety system. We will also strive to ensure meaningful Aboriginal participation in pipeline safety activities and modernizing the National Energy Board Act in the interests of ensuring our pipelines are safe for Canadians and safe for the environment.”
Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and
Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
Natural Resources Canada
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