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NEB to Rewrite Canadian Pipe Safety Rules

NEB to Rewrite Canadian Pipe Safety Rules

Sensing that updating its 1988 Pipeline Crossing Regulations was past due, Canada's National Energy Board moved another step toward the development of new regulations called the Damage Prevention Regulations (DPR) that will govern pipeline safety throughout the country.

Earlier this month, the NEB released the results of a survey it conducted last fall regarding what should be included in the new regulations. An estimated 350 surveys were sent to companies, groups and individuals with an interest in the industry. Of the surveys, 80% of respondents indicated strong support for a number of damage prevention activities including:

  • one-call centers for NEB regulated pipelines;
  • accuracy requirements for location of pipelines;
  • standardized crossing designs;
  • recommended development set backs based on land use;
  • development of minimum qualifications for pipeline locators; and
  • development of standards for awareness programs.

When the NEB decided to review the existing pipeline crossing regulations in mid-1999, it quickly became evident that many things had changed throughout the pipeline industry regarding damage prevention. It also became clear that existing regulations focused more on damage prevention than on crossing rules, hence the name change to "Damage Prevention Regulations."

From the surveys, the board plans to develop a draft DPR that it will circulate to interested companies, groups and individuals The NEB is seeking input because the rules will affect a wide group of Canadians.

Once completed, the new DPRs - which will replace the existing pipeline crossing regulations - will govern activities on or adjacent to pipeline rights of way in the interest of the public safety and company employees as well as the protection of the environment and personal property, the NEB said.

For complete results from the survey, or more information on the new DPRs, visit the NEB web site at www.neb.gc.ca.

Alex Steis

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