Filing Manual – Chapter 1 – Introduction
- 1.1 Background
- 1.2 Purpose
- 1.3 Organization
- 1.4 Content Structure
- 1.5 Confidential Filing
- 1.6 Previously Filed Material
- 1.7 Pre-Application Meetings Guidance Notes
- 1.8 Public Engagement Resources
- 1.9 Updates
- 1.10 Measurement, Conversion Factors and Commodity Description
- 1.11 Filing with the Canada Energy Regulator
The Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) purpose is to promote safety, security, environmental protection and economic efficiency in the Canadian public interest through its regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade as mandated by Parliament. As a result, companies regulated by the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act) are required to obtain the Commission’s approval to, among other things:
- add new facilities or modify or abandon existing facilities;
- export or import oil and gas products; and
- set tolls and tariffs.
When seeking approval, applicants must submit to the CER applications or information filings (collectively referred to as filings) that are complete and that enable the Commission to:
- evaluate the overall public good that the request can create as well as its potential negative aspects;
- weigh the various impacts; and
- make an informed decision that balances, among other things, the economic, environmental and social interests at that point in time.
While it is ultimately the responsibility of the applicant to make its case before the Commission, this manual has been developed to provide direction regarding the information the CER would typically expect to see addressed in a filing. The goal is to provide applicants with a clear definition of the CER’s expectations for complete filings. Complete filings should allow the Commission to carry out more consistent assessments with fewer information requests and therefore, shorten timelines required to make a decision.
As will be seen in the detailed requirements, in the process of assessing proposed projects, the CER uses a risk-oriented approach to evaluate issues, considering the probability and consequence of potential issues.
The contents within this document are based on the requirements outlined within the National Energy Board Rules of Practice and Procedure, 1995 (Rules). It is the CER’s expectation that applicants will use this document to the extent necessary. Checklists of all the filing requirements (summarized) are included in Appendix 1. The CER encourages applicants to submit completed checklists with each application.
1.1.1 Transition from National Energy Board to Canada Energy Regulator
On August 28 2019 the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act) came into force, replacing the National Energy Board Act. The CER Act introduces a modern governance structure with clear separation between key functions:
- An independent Commission, headed by a Lead Commissioner, to adjudicate projects (e.g., hearings)
- A Board of Directors, led by a Chair, to provide strategic oversight
- A Chief Executive Officer, accountable for leading the organization and delivering results
Every decision or order made by the National Energy Board is considered to have been made under the CER Act and may be enforced as such. Every certificate, license or permit issued by the National Energy Board is considered to have been issued under the CER Act. Those instruments remain in force for the remainder of the period during which they would have been in force had the CER Act not come into force.
Regulations made under the National Energy Board Act remain in force under the CER Act until they are repealed or others made in their stead, as per the Interpretation Act. Updates to regulations are being implemented through a phased approach, starting with the Transitional Regulations for the Purpose of the National Energy Board Cost Recovery Regulations. The CER “Acts and Regulations” web page will be regularly updated with opportunities to provide feedback on regulatory development and notifications of regulatory changes.
This manual is designed to:
- assist CER-regulated companies to identify the instances where a filing is necessary, pursuant to the CER Act and CER/National Energy Board (NEB) regulations;
- outline the filings needed for most applications within the jurisdiction of the CER; and
- provide guidance as to the type of information the Commission would typically need to make a decision.
Where a project does not appear to be addressed by this manual, the applicant is encouraged to contact the CER for assistance.
This manual is not explicitly applicable to:
- oil and gas activities regulated under other Acts for which the CER has responsibility, e.g., the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act and the Canada Petroleum Resources Act;
- international and designated interprovincial electric power lines; or
- offshore pipelines.
Any party requiring Commission approval for these activities can refer to this manual for some guidance; however, it does not provide a comprehensive list of requirements for their filings.
This manual is organized to easily identify the information required for each type of filing that is being made. In addition to the introductory information provided in Chapter 1, this manual is divided into the following chapters:
- Chapter 2 describes how to use this manual and includes a flowchart that applicants can use to determine what elements are required in their filing.
- Chapter 3 is the initial chapter for all applications and identifies the information which must be addressed in every application. After completing the requirements of Chapter 3, the applicant must then determine whether to proceed to Chapter 4 (physical projects) or Chapter 5 (non-physical projects).
- Chapter 4 identifies the information required for physical project applications.
- Chapter 5 identifies the information required for non-physical project applications.
- Chapter 6 identifies the information required for filings other than applications.
- Chapter 7 lists the CER documents referenced throughout this manual.
- Appendix 1 includes the filing requirements checklists which applicants are encouraged to complete and submit with each application.
1.4 Content Structure
The Filing Manual has been designed to assist applicants to clearly understand the information and level of detail required for a filing. The filing requirements are generally presented in the following format:
- a goal statement that clarifies the purpose of providing the information;
- filing requirements that specify the information details that are needed;
- a guidance section that provides direction regarding, for example, the level of detail, potential issues and information references; and
- grey boxes that provide direction to help determine if further information is required or not.
1.5 Confidential Filing
SS. 60 and 61 of the CER Act
In respect of a filing related to:
- Any regulatory proceeding (i.e., applications filed under the CER Act or any other public hearing process under the CER Act);
- Matters related to condition compliance where the condition is a “for approval” condition of the Commission; or
- Any other matter where there is significant third party interest;
an applicant may request that the CER treat that filing as confidential, in accordance with s. 60 of the CER Act. In order for such a request to be successful, the Commission must be satisfied that the filing meets the conditions set out in s. 60 of the CER Act.
Where a request to treat filing as confidential is due to a potential risk to the security of a facility, applicants may apply under s. 61 of the CER Act. In order for such a request to be successful, the Commission must be satisfied that the filing meets the conditions set out in s. 61, and that the filing was made:
- in respect of any order of the Commission made under the CER Act;
- in any regulatory proceeding (i.e., applications filed under the CER Act or any other public hearing process under the CER Act);
- in respect of a matter relating to condition compliance where the condition is a “for approval” condition of the Commission; or
- any other matter where there is significant third party interest.
Applicants for all requests made pursuant to s. 60 or s. 61 of the CER Act must provide:
- A cover letter containing the request and reasons for the requests, as well as a summary of the nature of the information to be treated confidentially;
- If possible, a redacted version of the filing (which does not contain the information requested to be kept confidential); and
- One unredacted copy of the filing that the applicant requests to be kept confidential. The filing must be provided via hand delivery, ordinary mail, registered mail or courier to the Secretary of the Commission in a double sealed envelope under confidential cover.
If the Commission is satisfied that the filing meets the conditions set out in ss. 60 or in s. 61 it may take measures that it considers necessary. One such measure is that only select CER staff and Commissioners responsible for the consideration of the filing would have access to the information, and the information would not be available to the public. The Commission may also issue an order for rulings made pursuant to s. 60 or 61.
Policy on Government Security
In respect of filings which are unrelated to:
- regulatory proceedings;
- matters relating to condition compliance where the condition is a “for approval” condition of the Commission; or
- any other matter where there is a significant third party interest;
such filings may be designated in accordance with the Policy on Government Security. The CER protects sensitive information under its control in accordance with this policy. In order for a filing to be classified in accordance with this standard, it must be considered sensitive. That is, if it was compromised, it could reasonably be expected to cause injury outside the national interests, for example, damage to an individual’s reputation. Applicants may wish to provide information which may assist the CER in classifying a filing pursuant to the Policy on Government Security. Further information about the policy, particularly in regards to the levels of designation, can be obtained by viewing the policy online.
Note: The CER will continue to treat all Emergency Response Manuals in accordance with the Policy on Government Security, even if treatment is not specifically requested. Therefore, no specific information is necessary for the filing of Emergency Response Manuals where such a filing is made in the following circumstances:
- outside of a regulatory proceeding (and where there is no significant third party interest); or
- condition compliance where the condition is not a “for approval” condition of the Commission.
Emergency Response Manuals being filed in the course of a regulatory proceeding, or during condition compliance where the condition is a “for approval” condition of the Commission, or during any other matter where there is significant third party interest, must be accompanied by a request that the CER treat a filing as confidential pursuant to s. 60 or 61 of the CER Act.
FYI – Order MO-006-2016 Compelling Publication of Emergency Procedures Manuals required under subsection 32(1.1) of the OPR
With respect to Emergency Procedures Manuals, applicants are reminded that, subject to redaction and exemption provisions set out in Order MO-006-2016 [Filing A79720], companies are required to publish the entirety of their emergency procedures manuals applicable to their CER-regulated facilities on their or their affiliate’s internet site for public viewing.
The CER anticipates that the version of the Emergency Procedures Manual published on a company’s website would be sufficient for filing in most regulatory proceedings. Requests from regulatory proceeding participants for a version to be filed other than the version published on a company’s website would be considered on an individual basis by the Commission and be subject to the considerations noted above in Section 1.5 Confidential Filing.
1.6 Previously Filed Material
If an applicant wishes to refer to documents previously filed with the CER (e.g., company manuals, programs, standards or procedures) and those documents are still current, rather than resubmitting the documents, the applicant may:
- indicate when, under what circumstances and under what CER file number (if known) the information was filed;
- identify the version of the document referenced to indicate that it matches the previously filed version; and
- identify the section of the document being referenced (if applicable).
1.7 Pre-Application Meetings Guidance Notes
- Applicants may request a pre-application meeting to clarify filing requirements with the CER. The Pre-Application Meetings page on the CER website describes the process for requesting a meeting.
- For facilities projects, applicants should consult the Early Engagement Guide (Guide L of the Filing Manual) for guidance and requirements prior to filing an application with the CER.
1.8 Public Engagement Resources
The CER has a variety of public engagement resources, including videos and online or print publications, which applicants can use to inform potentially affected persons about the CER and its processes. On the CER website there is a detailed list of our publications and what each is used for. (See Guidance for Companies on CER Publications under Participation & Lands).
It is the CER’s intent to update this document on a scheduled basis and when updates are necessary. The CER would appreciate any comments readers might have with respect to the content, usability or other matters associated with this document that could assist with future updates and revisions.
All comments may be directed to the CER by:
Facsimile: Secretary at 403-292-5503
Secretary of the Commission
Canada Energy Regulator
Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue S.W.
The CER will communicate its future revision process and schedule and any interim updates at the website.
1.10 Measurement, Conversion Factors and Commodity Description
Where possible, the CER would prefer that information within applications be presented in the International System of Units (SI), although it is helpful to include the imperial equivalent as well.
The following conversion factors should be used:
- millimetre (mm) = 0.0394 inches (in)
- metre (m) = 3.28 feet (ft)
- kilometre (km) = 0.62 miles (mi)
- cubic metre (m³) = 35.3 cubic feet (cf)
- cubic metre = 6.29 barrels (bbl)
- kilopascal (kPa) = 0.145 pounds per square inch (psi)
If other conversion rates are used, indicate this fact and provide the rates used.
For gas volumes, market requirements, estimates of reserves, and productive capacity estimates will be at a temperature of 15ºC and an absolute pressure of 101.325 kPa. Gas composition should be expressed in mole percent, and the heating value of the gas should be expressed in megajoules per cubic metre (MJ/m³). Volumes are requested to be in metric units as cubic metres (m³) and production rates as cubic metres per day (m³/d). The imperial equivalent would be cubic feet (cf) and cubic feet per day (cf/d) respectively.
Descriptions of crude oil and equivalents will include, at a minimum:
- classification of the crude oil;
- specific gravity;
- sulphur content upon which the classification is based; and
- other properties when they are important to the design of the facilities or third party interests, for example:
- viscosity or water content could be important to the design of the facilities; or
- impurities could be of concern to third parties if more than one product is transported on the same pipeline.
Natural gas liquids (NGL) composition should be expressed as a percent and vapour pressure will be at a specified temperature.
Descriptions of refined hydrocarbons must include the type of product and any properties that might be important to the design of the facilities or third party interests.
All other liquid commodities must be described in sufficient detail for the CER to understand the nature of the commodity and how it might affect the design of the proposed facilities or third party interests.
All liquids volumes, with the exception of NGL and cryogenic liquids, will be submitted as the volume such product would occupy at a temperature of 15ºC and an absolute pressure of 101.325 kPa, unless otherwise stated in the application. For NGL and cryogenic liquids, the temperature and pressure at which the submitted volumes are measured will be provided.
Liquid volumes are requested to be expressed as m³ and production rates as m³/d. The imperial equivalent would be in barrels (bbl) and barrels per day (bbl/d), respectively.
1.11 Filing with the Canada Energy Regulator
Parties who have the ability to file documents electronically are expected to file documents through the CER’s electronic document repository. Any person who has the ability to access documents through the repository must accept service of a notification that the document is in the repository rather than requiring a hard copy of the document be served.
For more information about filing electronically, please refer to the Filers Guide to Electronic Submission and the Memorandum of Guidance on Electronic Filing. Both of these documents are available on the CER’s website. Please note that e-mails are not considered electronic filing and will not be accepted in a hearing.
The CER’s electronic document repository will contain the full text of only those documents filed electronically (following the procedures mentioned above) and in hard copy. When documents are filed by hard copy or facsimile, the CER will undertake to file the documents on the submitter’s behalf. However, in some cases, the CER may choose to create an electronic placeholder for documents too large to submit electronically to the repository. In cases such as this, it will not be possible to view or search these documents. They will be made available for viewing in the CER’s library.
Companies are reminded not to file their security documents electronically, although they need to be available for examination by the CER during audits, inspections or other CER regulatory activities. For further information please refer to the National Energy Board Security Advisory – NEB SA 2007-03 Security Sensitive Documents.
If you are filing an application as hard copies, you must file 25 copies. Please use pressboard report covers rather than plastic binders. Pressboard covers are more compact and durable, and a large amount of plastic waste will be avoided.
If you file electronically, one hard copy must be subsequently filed. The hard copy must have attached to it a signed copy of the Electronic Filing Receipt that the system will return to the filer upon receipt of the electronic document. Please file your completed application with the CER and address it to:
Secretary of the Commission
Canada Energy Regulator
Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta T2R 0A8
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