On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the National Energy Board (NEB) became the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). For further information please visit our Implementing the Canadian Energy Regulator Act information page
NEB’s full lifecycle oversight
Issue: NEB’s full lifecycle oversight
Before a pipeline or a facility can be built, a proponent must file an application with the National Energy Board (NEB or Board). The application includes, among other things, information on how the pipeline will be built and operated, the measures in place to protect the safety of workers and public, and the company’s plan to minimize environment impacts.
When considering an application, the NEB assesses the pipeline’s proposed design, construction and operation to make sure it’s safe, protects the environment and it is in the public’s interest. The NEB assesses the proposed pipeline design making sure it meets the Onshore Pipeline Regulation and standards set by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).
If a pipeline project is approved, the NEB continues to monitor, assess and review the pipeline’s operations as long as it’s in service. This is done through regular inspections, audits and incident investigations to make sure the pipeline operator complies with regulations that protect public safety and the environment.
NEB Inspection Officers conduct front line inspections in locations throughout Canada. If companies are found to be in non-compliance with regulations, they will take immediate enforcement action.
Determining where and when to conduct compliance verification is a key factor in pipeline safety and the NEB uses a ‘risk-based’ system. The system reviews information about the location, type of facility, company compliance history and other technical factors to decide where to direct inspections.
The same model and system is used to conduct Audits and other Compliance Verification Activities through the entire lifecycle – from post-approval condition compliance to eventual abandonment.
If a company decides to take a pipeline out of service temporarily (decommission) or permanently (abandon), the operator must file a request with the NEB.
The NEB works with the company to make sure all necessary precautions are taken for safe decommissioning or abandonment of the pipeline or facility.
This includes issues like land use management, ground settling, soil erosion and land restoration.
Even after the restoration work is over, pipeline companies have an ongoing responsibility to landowners and the public to ensure the pipeline right-of way and the associated facilities remain safe.
Full lifecycle pipeline oversight
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