Keeping energy moving safely during a pandemic
April 24, 2020
Our 500+ employees are working from home right now, but our commitment to our oversight mandate to protect people and the environment is the same. Essential services like medical supports, police, grocery stores and pharmacies, rely on Canada’s energy system to continue running effectively during this pandemic. That is why we are changing many aspects of our work to make sure our efforts and those of our regulated companies are focused on the right things to respond to a pandemic.
Our number one priority is to keep people safe. We are adhering to all health authority directives and keeping travel to a minimum.
As pipeline construction and operation activities proceed during this pandemic, we will make sure that we are there to oversee it. This includes inspections in the field, which are an important part of our compliance verification toolkit. On projects like the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, these inspections will be done jointly with Indigenous monitors to make sure their perspectives are represented in our work. Where possible, we are using technology for our compliance oversight to reduce in-person interactions.
We are making sure companies have the appropriate procedures in place to prevent the spread of the virus to keep their employees, and the communities they work in, safe. We expect regulated companies to communicate clearly on how they are doing this and we are committed to doing the same. We are also verifying their plans to maintain critical operations. While there has been some changes to the planned construction on various projects due to the pandemic, where work is ongoing, we are checking in frequently and requiring reports on a regular basis.
We are ready to respond in the event of an emergency, and have adapted how we work to ensure we can deploy. We also work collaboratively with other regulators to help ensure there is timely and appropriate oversight in case of emergencies. To ensure facilities are operating safely, we are working with our provincial counterparts through our various Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) or Cooperative Agreements. In critical circumstances, these agencies can help us by being additional “eyes and ears” for any work being done in their local areas.
We are closely monitoring the pandemic situation and make adjustments as required.
While the way we’re working has changed, we remain Canada’s Energy Regulator; working to protect people and the environment.
Learn more about the CER’s response to COVID-19:
- CER’s regulatory oversight of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Ready to Respond: CER Emergency Preparedness in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
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