Overview of the Discussion Paper for the OPR Review

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has initiated a review of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR), the CER’s principal regulation for onshore pipelines.

The OPR Review will build on learnings from years of implementing the OPR, and feedback from Indigenous peoples, regulated companies, landowners and other stakeholders. The CER’s objective for this review is to deliver a regulation that supports the highest level of safety, security and environmental protection, advances Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, addresses transparency and inclusive participation, provides for predictable and timely oversight and encourages innovation. The review will address all areas of the OPR and may result in changes to other parts of the CER’s regulatory framework including regulatory documents and guidance such as the CER’s Filing Manual.

The Discussion Paper has been posted to identify possible areas of change and to focus early engagement activity. The Discussion Paper outlines questions for your input, which will assist with future policy and regulation development. Topics addressed in the Discussion Paper include:

  1. Lessons learned (what we have learned over the past 20 years using the Onshore Pipeline Regulations, including areas where we know improvement is needed).
  2. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples (working differently with Indigenous peoples over the lifecycle of a pipeline; respecting and protecting heritage resources and sites of significance for Indigenous peoples; involving Indigenous peoples in pipeline oversight).
  3. Engagement and inclusive participation (planning for how pipelines are operated and maintained; other company activities like emergency management; communicating and engaging people affected by pipeline activities once a project is approved; using a gender-based analysis plus lens, which looks at how policies affect women, men and non-binary people differently).
  4. Global competitiveness (helping companies and people affected by the OPR know what to expect; improving innovation and flexibility; changing how we can use CER data and digital platforms to find new, better ways of working; changing pipeline use to carry different products or ending the use of a pipeline).
  5. Safety and environmental protection (using management systems to plan for all aspects of pipeline operations; exploring human and organizational factors that impact how work is done; looking at programs and plans for safety and environmental protection; making sure contractors are properly managed; looking at how contaminated sites are cleaned up; making sure there is a strong emergency management program in place; checking quality of pipeline materials).
  6. Implementation (looking for ways to improve understanding of the rules in order to get the intended results; developing technical guidance to support the regulations).

Please let us know if and how you would like to be involved, or if you have questions, through the email contact information below.

Email: opr-rpt@cer-rec.gc.ca

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