Canada’s National Energy Board Orders Pipeline Companies to Publish Emergency Procedures Manuals Online

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regulationCanada’s National Energy Board (NEB) regulated pipeline companies have until Sept. 30, 2016 to publish their emergency procedures manuals online for public viewing.

RELATED: Regulations Could be a Boon for Pipeline Industry

With Board Order MO-006-2016 the NEB becomes the first North American regulator to require pipeline companies to publish their oil and gas emergency procedures manuals online.

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Companies are required to publish all emergency procedure manual information online, with the exception of information that would compromise infrastructure protection and personal security and safety.  Although excluded from online availability, they remain in company emergency procedures manuals provided to first responders and to the NEB.

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“The NEB continues to set a very high bar for transparency and openness. Canadians deserve to have this important information,” said NEB Chair and CEO Peter Watson. “They also deserve to know that the NEB provides strict regulatory oversight of pipeline safety and environmental protection through the entire life of every NEB-regulated pipeline.”

The Order reflects the NEB’s continued commitment to openness and transparency regarding regulatory operations that protect public safety and the environment.

Highlights of the Board Order MO-006-2016:

This Order applies to both oil and gas pipeline systems with a few exceptions for small systems.

Update published emergency procedures manuals as changes are made.

Companies must post the entirety of their emergency procedures manuals on their company’s public internet site except companies may protect information including:

  • Personal information, such as names, medical and contact information;
  • Security information such as information where there is a risk that its disclosure will impair the security of a pipeline; and
  • Species at risk and heritage resources information such as the location of Indigenous traditional land use sites, archaeological sites or paleontological sites.

The NEB received 35 submissions during the emergency management information transparency public consultation. There was broad support for making emergency procedures manual information publicly available.

RELATED: Will You Dominate Your Next Oil Response?

Every year, the NEB oversees and evaluates at least 12 full scale emergency response exercises that test a company’s emergency response plan. Evaluations of these exercises are now available on the NEB’s web site.  On Feb. 11, 2016, the NEB announced that all emergency response exercise evaluations will be posted publicly on the NEB web site.

 

 

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