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The National Energy Board (“NEB”) is currently seeking comments on its proposed approach to damage prevention for oil pipelines. Anyone interested in commenting has until November 13, 2015 to do so.

The Pipeline Safety Act, SC 2015, c.21, received Royal Assent on June 18, 2015, bringing with it forthcoming amendments to the National Energy Board Act, RSC, 1985, c N-7. These amendments require the NEB to update its pipeline damage prevention regulations. The regulations that will be affected include:

  1. National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I (PCR Part I);
  2. National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II (PCR Part II);  and
  3. Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (National Energy Board) (AMPs).

The NEB has identified 3 main areas to be updated:

  1. Modernizing the regulatory language;
  2. Amending the regulations to reflect the legislative changes made to the National Energy Board Act by the Pipeline Safety Act; and 
  3. Amending the regulations to reflect the results from the last public consultation period conducted in September 2014.

As part of this process, the NEB released for public comment an “information paper” aimed at informing and eliciting public comments on its proposed updates.  

Between aging pipeline infrastructure, increasingly unpredictable (and more severe) weather conditions due to climate change, and a turn, increasingly, to pipelines for oil transport post-Lac Megantic, it is more important than ever to ensure the adequacy of safety regulations.

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