Canada Energy Regulator issues monetary penalty to Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc.
Regulator found TNPI conducted decommissioning activities without receiving approval
For Immediate Release
March 23, 2022 – Calgary, AB – Canada Energy Regulator
Today the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) released full details of its $100,000 Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) to Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc. (TNPI). The company did not apply to the Commission of the CER for approval before conducting decommissioning activities at their Mirabel Metering Station in Mirabel, Quebec, as required by section 45.1 of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR). TNPI did not request a review of the AMP and has paid the full amount.
This AMP was associated with other non-compliance issues related to TNPI’s decommissioning activities. CER Inspection Officers observed these non-compliances in 2020 and 2021. Immediate safety and compliance issues were addressed at the time by the Inspection Officers by an Inspection Officer Order (IOO) LMR-001-2021.
On May 18, 2021, CER Inspection Officers observed that TNPI had permanently stopped operations meeting the definition for decommissioning at the Mirabel Metering Station without the approval of the Commission. Decommissioning is when a company shuts down the operation of a pipeline, but service is still provided through other pipelines owned by the operator. CER compliance verification activities at the deactivated Mirabel Lateral Pipeline and the Mirabel Station identified that TNPI had performed some decommissioning activities at Mirabel Station, such as removing buildings and a sump tank in 2008 and 2011.
TNPI has satisfied the measures of the IOO, and the CER continues its oversight of the decommissioned facility and associated pipeline maintained in a deactivated state. As part of their decommissioning project at the Mirabel station, all above-ground equipment and underground infrastructure have been removed.
Enforcement actions are a way for the CER to bring regulated companies back into compliance, promote future compliance with CER acts and regulations, and prevent harm to people and the environment. An AMP is only one tool in the CER’s enforcement toolkit. Other enforcement tools available to the CER include Notices of Non-Compliance, IOOs, Safety Orders, and revocation of a company’s authorization to operate.
- This is the third AMP issued to TNPI in the past three years. TNPI was issued an AMP in 2021 for failing to have an adequate environmental protection program, particularly related to contaminated sites, as required by section 48 of the OPR (AMP-001-2021).
- TNPI was also issued an AMP in 2020 for failing to ensure maintenance activities were conducted as stated in their company manual, as per section 29 of the OPR (AMP-001-2020).
- An AMP is a financial penalty the CER can issue to companies or individuals for not being in compliance with the CER Act, regulations, decisions, permits, orders, licenses, or certificate conditions intended to keep people safe or protect the environment.
- The maximum daily penalty for an AMP is $100,000 for companies. If an issue is recurring, there is no limit to how many consecutive days that fine can be implemented. There is no total limit to how much an individual or company can be fined for a single violation, only a daily maximum for each violation.
- Notice of Violation AMP-002-2022
- Inspection Officer Order No. LMR-001-2021
- Compliance Verification Activity CV-2021-270
- AMP issued to TNPI in 2021: AMP-001-2021
- AMP issued to TNPI in 2020: AMP-001-2020
- Administrative Monetary Penalties
- Administrative Monetary Penalties Process Guide
- CER Enforcement Policy
- CER Pipeline Profiles: TNPI
The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) works to keep energy moving safely across the country. We review energy development projects and share energy information, all while enforcing some of the strictest safety and environmental standards in the world. To find out how the CER is working for you visit us online or connect on social media
Ruth Anne Beck
Canada Energy Regulator
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803
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