Energy board says it has strengthened pipeline safety rules

The National Energy Board says it has strengthened regulations for federally regulated oil and natural gas pipelines to make them safer for people and the environment.

The amended regulations that came into effect earlier this month require companies to do more to address safety, pipeline integrity, security, environmental protection and emergency management.

Board chairman Gaetan Caron said the new rules can help companies better manage risk and safe pipeline operations.

“These regulations are part of a commitment to continual improvement in terms of safety and outcomes,” Caron said in a statement.

“The board believes that with proper management, pipeline incidents are preventable. It is on that critical foundation that we have developed a proactive approach that targets the prevention of incidents before they occur.”

Some of the changes are meant to make senior pipeline company executives more accountable by, for example, filing annual reports on pipeline projects that can be audited by the board.

Other changes include requiring companies to appoint “accountable officers” who are responsible for ensuring safety and environmental goals ripple down from top executives to frontline employees. Their names are to be sent to the board.