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Minister Rickford Announces Latest Actions to Enhance Canada's World-Class Pipeline Safety System

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 05/14/14 -- Natural Resources Canada

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, joined by the Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, announced new measures to further enhance Canada's world-class pipeline safety system. Today's announcement builds on significant steps taken in June 2013.

The new measures announced today include:

--  Introducing absolute liability for all National Energy Board (NEB)-
    regulated pipelines, meaning companies will be liable for costs and
    damages irrespective of fault - $1 billion for major oil pipelines;
    companies continue to have unlimited liability when at fault or
    negligent;
--  Developing a strategy with industry and Aboriginal communities in an
    effort to increase Aboriginal Peoples' participation in pipeline safety
    operations, including planning, monitoring, incident response and
    related employment and business opportunities;
--  Providing the NEB authority to order reimbursement of any cleanup costs
    incurred by governments, communities or individuals;
--  Giving the NEB the ability to provide guidance on the use of the best
    available technologies used in federally-regulated pipeline projects.
    This includes materials, construction methods, and emergency response
    techniques; and
--  Providing the NEB authority and resources to assume control of incident
    response if a company is unable or unwilling to do so (i.e. in
    exceptional circumstances).

Minister Rickford linked improvements to pipeline safety to the Government of Canada's plan for Responsible Resource Development, which strengthens environmental protection, enhances Aboriginal engagement and streamlines the review of major resource projects to make the process more timely and predictable.

Our government is committed taking to concrete actions to strengthen pipeline safety, enhance Aboriginal participation in pipeline safety activities and modernize the National Energy Board Act. New energy projects will provide Aboriginal Canadians with training as well as jobs in the areas of monitoring, planning and emergency response operations as well as supporting business opportunities.

These new measures enhance Canada's already world-class pipeline safety system and build on the principles of incident prevention, preparedness, and liability. As part of this commitment, a number of amendments to the National Energy Board Act are also proposed to improve transparency and operations of the Board and its enabling legislation.

Quick Facts

--  Currently, 99.999 percent of the oil and petroleum product transported
    on federally regulated pipelines is carried out safely, and the measures
    announced today aim to improve Canada's record even further.
--  The rate of spills on federally regulated pipelines in Canada was 57
    percent lower than in Europe and 60 percent lower than in the United
    States over the past decade.
--  New funding provided in Economic Action Plan 2012 allowed the National
    Energy Board to increase annual inspections of oil and gas pipelines by
    50 percent and double the number of comprehensive audits to improve
    pipeline safety across Canada.
--  In the next decade, over 400,000 Aboriginal youth will be entering the
    workforce, creating an unprecedented opportunity to address the need for
    new workers in the oil and gas industry.
--  In 2012, more than 13,500 Aboriginal people worked in the Canadian
    energy sector.

Quotes

"Our government is demonstrating consistent, significant action to further enhance Canada's pipeline safety system. We will also strive to ensure meaningful Aboriginal participation in pipeline safety activities and modernizing the National Energy Board Act in the interests of ensuring our pipelines are safe for Canadians and safe for the environment."

Greg Rickford

Canada's Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario

Related Products

Backgrounder - Canada's Existing Pipeline Safety System

Backgrounder - World-Class Pipeline Safety

Associated Links

Tanker Safety Measures - http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=847519;

Pipeline Safety Fact Sheet http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/energy/files/OS-Pipeline_Safety_e.pdf;

Responsible Resource Development http://eap.gc.ca/en/content/r2d-dr2

Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)

NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media

Contacts:
Alexandra Lemieux
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Natural Resources
and Minister for the Federal Economic Development
Initiative for Northern Ontario
613-996-2007

Media Relations
Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
613-992-4447

The general public may contact:
Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EDT
Telephone: 613-995-0947
TTY: 613-996-4397
(teletype for the hearing-impaired)
[email protected]

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