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NEB pushes for openness of safety procedures from pipeline companies

The National Energy Board announced new regulations forpipeline companies to increase transparency of emergency procedures.

The NEB in an April 5 press release said pipeline companies arenow required to publish their emergency procedures manuals online.NEB-regulated pipeline companies must comply by publishing their emergencyprocedures manuals for public viewing by Sept. 30, as stipulated in a boardorder issued by the NEB.

While companies' entire emergency procedures manuals must beon their company's public website, they may withhold certain information thatcould compromise infrastructure or personal safety and security.

Such sensitive information includes personal information,including names, medical and contact information; security data, includinginformation that could affect pipeline security if disclosed; and informationon areas with at-risk species, archaeological sites, indigenous traditionalland use sites or paleontological sites. While such sensitive information wouldnot be available online, it would remain in company copies that would beavailable to first responders and the NEB.

The order applies to both oil and natural gas pipelinesystems, with exceptions for small systems. These companies mustalso publish updates to emergency procedures as changes to the manuals are made.

"Canadians deserve to have this important information.They also deserve to know that the NEB provides strict regulatory oversight ofpipeline safety and environmental protection through the entire life of everyNEB-regulated pipeline," NEB Chair and CEO Peter Watson said.