Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) is floating four amendments to “improve and streamline” 24-year-old pipeline protection regulations to better reflect current industry practice.
Pipelines are particularly vulnerable to nearby construction and excavation, the NEB says in its “Proposed Changes to NEB Regulations for Pipeline Damage Prevention - Discussion Paper”. To better protect them, the NEB wants to create a “safe practices” approach for these industries; it also wants feedback on a new “call before you dig” approach.
“The PCRs [Pipeline Crossing Regulations] should be clearer about how third parties are to contact a pipeline company to request a pipeline locate, with an explicit option to contact a one-call centre in areas where a centre is established,” the NEB states in its December 2012 discussion paper.
The NEB is also proposing a management system approach for pipeline companies and requirements for vehicles looking to safely cross pipelines.
In addition to welcoming feedback, the NEB has posed a series of questions under each of the proposed amendments. For example, the board wants assistance for fine-tuning elements such as exactly how close a construction crew can work to a pipeline.
The NEB had attempted to revise the pipeline damage prevention regulations in 2010, but abandoned the changes after the board received a number of public comments taking issue with the revisions.
The NEB is inviting written comments on the updated discussion paper to be submitted by email, fax or mail to the address listed below. The deadline for submitting written comments is February 11, 2013.
Attention: Gary Crowe
National Energy Board
444 Seventh Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2P 0X8
Toll free fax: 1-877-288-8803
The changes described in the discussion paper would necessitate amendments to the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I (SOR/88-528); National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II (SOR/88-529) and Onshore Pipeline Regulations, 1999 (SOR/99-294).
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