Condition Compliance and Lifecycle Approach
On February 19, 2020 the Canada Energy Regulator issued its Recommendation Report for the 2021 NGTL System Expansion Project (NGTL 2021) subject to 34 conditions. These conditions are related to public safety, protection of the environment, and ensure continued consultation between the company, landowners and Indigenous peoples. The Commission also heard concerns which were beyond its mandate to address and developed six recommendations in relation to those concerns for the consideration and action by the Federal cabinet and/or other government bodies. These recommendations were included in the Commission’s Recommendation Report to Federal cabinet. The Order in Council (or OIC) also added one new condition and modified five conditions for the project. The new condition added is related to creating an Indigenous Working Group (IWG) for the project’s effects within the Little Smokey Caribou range. NGTL is required to work towards creating this IWG with any interested Indigenous communities identified as being potentially impacted by the project. This is the first condition of this kind for a CER-regulated facility.
The CER oversees all aspects of the NGTL 2021 including:
- Compliance with Conditions
- Construction [Filing C11012]
- Operation and Maintenance
- Indigenous Monitoring Program
- Post Construction
- Compliance and Enforcement
How Does the CER Make Sure a Pipeline is Safe?
While Canadians mostly hear about the CER’s involvement at the beginning of a project, we regulate federal energy infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle. We do not simply make a decision on a project and walk away. When approved projects are being built and operated, we inspect and audit them. When a pipeline has reached the end of its usefulness, we hold a hearing to ensure that it is abandoned in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
In other words, the CER regulates from “start to finish”, which can span the course of many decades. And we hold pipeline companies responsible for the full lifecycle of the pipelines they operate.
Compliance Verification Activities
The CER uses Compliance Verification Activities to observe and gather information about the state of compliance in a specific area of a company’s operations, or to investigate whether companies are taking the appropriate preventive or corrective actions. Compliance Verification Activities include:
- Inspections of facilities under construction or in operation
- Emergency exercise evaluations
- Emergency procedures manuals reviews
- Formal compliance meetings (to check the progress of programs or corrective actions)
- Management system audits
- Reviews of post-construction monitoring reports
These activities are designed to determine if legislation and expectations are being followed, to assess if enforcement is required and to provide feedback to a company. If our staff see something that is not in compliance with our regulations, they follow-up to make sure that corrective actions have been put in place and apply appropriate enforcement actions if necessary.
Each year the CER conducts more than 250 Compliance Verification Activities of regulated companies. These tools are effective in allowing the CER to proactively detect and correct non-compliances before they become issues.
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Toll free fax: 1-877-288-8803
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