NEB announces action plan to improve safety, environmental protection

In a bid to dramatically improve safety, emergency preparedness and environmental protection, the National Energy Board has announced an "action plan" that will see enhanced industry regulations and performance measures.
CALGARY — The National Energy Board (NEB) is launching an Action Plan on Safety and Environmental Protection to improve results in four key areas — worker safety, integrity of installations, damage prevention and emergency preparedness and response.

"This Action Plan has been developed as part of our focus on continual improvement," said board chair and CEO Gaétan Caron. "We have a responsibility to hold those we regulate accountable for results that are in the public interest, and also to continually update our own programs."

During 2011-2012, the NEB will further clarify its expectations of industry and those working near pipelines, improve public access to NEB information, and take more explicit actions on safety and environmental protection.

As part of its plan, the board will convene a forum on pipeline and facility safety by September 2012. Through this forum, the NEB intends to collaborate with other regulators, and incorporate the expertise of industry and others, in the development of solutions.

The NEB will strengthen expectations in several areas:
    •    Clarify management system requirements under the Onshore Pipeline Regulation. The NEB expects companies to take a systematic approach to manage and reduce risks related to safety and environmental protection, and will hold companies accountable for the effectiveness of their management systems.
    •    Clarify and formalize its approach to reports of unauthorized activities on rights-of-way and in safety zones.
    •    Improve measures of industry performance in safety and environmental protection.

The board will also improve public accessibility of information about NEB programs and the performance of regulated companies with respect to safety and environmental protection.

The Action Plan on Safety and Environmental Protection can be found on the NEB's safety web pages. Updates and announcements on the Plan will be published on the NEB safety web pages on an ongoing basis.

The NEB is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.