SUMMARY (from Parliament of Canada)

A new era of public scrutiny...

Bill C-46

On March 9, 2015, the Pipeline Safety Act passed the House and will soon be law. 

"This enactment amends the National Energy Board Act and the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act in order to strengthen the safety and security of pipelines regulated by those Acts.

 

More specifically, the enactment, among other things,

(a) reinforces the “polluter pays” principle;

(b) confirms that the liability of companies that operate pipelines is unlimited if an unintended or uncontrolled release of oil, gas or any other commodity from a pipeline that they operate is the result of their fault or negligence;

(c) establishes the limit of liability without proof of fault or negligence at no less than one billion dollars for companies that operate pipelines that have the capacity to transport at least 250,000 barrels of oil per day and at an amount prescribed by regulation for companies that operate any other pipelines;

(d) requires that companies that operate pipelines maintain the financial resources necessary to pay the amount of the limit of liability that applies to them;

(e) authorizes the National Energy Board to order any company that operates a pipeline from which an unintended or uncontrolled release of oil, gas or any other commodity occurs to reimburse any government institution the costs it incurred in taking any action or measure in relation to that release;

(f) requires that companies that operate pipelines remain responsible for their abandoned pipelines;

(g) authorizes the National Energy Board to order companies that operate pipelines to maintain funds to pay for the abandonment of their pipelines or for their abandoned pipelines;

(h) allows the Governor in Council to authorize the National Energy Board to take, in certain circumstances, any action or measure that the National Energy Board considers necessary in relation to an unintended or uncontrolled release of oil, gas or any other commodity from a pipeline;

(i) allows the Governor in Council to establish, in certain circumstances, a pipeline claims tribunal whose purpose is to examine and adjudicate the claims for compensation for compensable damage caused by an unintended or uncontrolled release of oil, gas or any other commodity from a pipeline;

(j) authorizes, in certain circumstances, that funds may be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund to pay the costs of taking the actions or measures that the National Energy Board considers necessary in relation to an unintended or uncontrolled release of oil, gas or any other commodity from a pipeline, to pay the costs related to establishing a pipeline claims tribunal and to pay any amount of compensation that such a tribunal awards; and

(k) authorizes the National Energy Board to recover those funds from the company that operates the pipeline from which the release occurred and from companies that operate pipelines that transport a commodity of the same class as the one that was released."

Source

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