Condition Compliance & Lifecycle Approach
As set out in its July 19, 2019, decision [Filing C00593], issued to Trans Mountain, decisions and orders made prior to the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) decision will remain valid, unless it is determined that relevant circumstances have materially changed. A review of any of these decisions or orders could be done on the CER’s own motion, due to new information from Trans Mountain, or an application for review.
For condition compliance or relief decisions still to be made, the Commission of the CER (Commission) will rely on the record to date, and consider relevant future submissions, in making compliance or relief decisions. Folders have been set up in REGDOCS to organize the Project’s Regulatory Instruments [Folder 3781613], Condition Compliance Letter Reports and Decision [Folder 3827901] and Non-Routing Variances [Folder 3781730] decisions.
The Government of Canada has approved the Project subject to 156 conditions. To find up-to-date information on condition filings submitted to the CER, and the status of specific conditions, explore the Project Conditions Table. This table also allows users to sort conditions by theme (e.g., engineering, safety, environment) and lifecycle stage (e.g, prior to construction, during construction, prior to operations).
Regulatory decisions on Project conditions have been issued in the form of Condition Compliance Letter Reports [Folder 3827901]. Each letter report includes decision(s) relating to certain condition(s) and how those decision(s) apply to various Phase(s) of the Project.
Monthly Summary Letters are also issued to summarize all Project filings, non-routing variance filings and submissions, as well as correspondence and regulatory decisions that have been issued since the previous month’s summary letter. It also lists the filings expected from Trans Mountain in the next 30-day period.
It is also possible to view condition filings received in the last 30 days.
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.
What Compliance Verification Activities and Enforcement Actions has the CER carried out for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project?
In 2011, the NEB began proactively posting information on our compliance verification activities and enforcement actions. Compliance Verification Activity (CVA) Reports for both the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, and existing Trans Mountain Pipeline system, are available on the CER’s website, and searchable by activity type. Enforcement actions are similarly publicly available and can be viewed on the compliance and enforcement section of the website.
Trans Mountain’s Operation and Maintenance Activities
Companies are required to carry out operations and maintenance activities for the safe and secure operation of their facilities. As part of ongoing oversight of pipelines, companies are require to submit Operations and Maintenance Notifications, if they meet certain criteria (such as working near bodies of water). Operations and Maintenance Notifications, filed by Trans Mountain can be found on our website. [Folder 552813]
For more information, see the Operations and Maintenance Requirements and Guidance notes.
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