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Canadian Pipeline Operators Are Regulated Much Like Our US Customers

Canadian Pipeline Operators Are Regulated Much Like Our US Customers:

The US pipeline operators are regulated to develop, implement, and enforce control room management plans to ensure the safety and security of people, pipelines, property and the environment. Canadian pipeline operators are not being forgotten, the National Energy Board (NEB) is requiring compliance with Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR-99) where they have to develop and implement a management and protection program. Much like the US PHMSA regulations this will be enforced by an audit process for compliance. We (UCDS) have been involved with the development of these types of safety programs and we know and understand what regulators are looking for. We our offering our Canadian customers the same type of support we provided for the US pipeline operators where we perform a gap analysis against the regulation requirements and identify how much work is needed, from there we will act as project lead to develop the plan, policies, and ensure that our customers meet all the requirements of the NEB. Below you can see a summary of the Canadian regulations:

1. The company shall have a policy approved and endorsed by senior management. It should include goals and objectives and commit to improving the performance of the company.

2. The company shall be able to demonstrate a procedure to identify all possible hazards. The company should assess the degree of risk associated with these hazards. The company should be able to support the rationale for including or excluding possible risks in regard to its environment, safety, integrity, crossings and awareness and emergency management and protection programs (management and protection programs). The company should be able to implement control measures to minimize or eliminate the risk.

3. The company shall have a verifiable process for the identification and integration of legal requirements into its management and protection programs. The company should have a documented procedure to identify and resolve non-compliances as they relate to legal requirements which includes updating the management and protection programs as required.

4. The company should have goals, objectives and quantifiable targets relevant to the risks and hazards associated with the company’s facilities and activities (i.e. construction, operations and maintenance). The objectives and targets should be measurable and consistent with the Policy and legal requirements and ideally include continual improvement and prevention initiatives, where appropriate.

5. The company shall have an organizational structure that allows its management and protection programs to effectively function. The company should have clear roles and responsibilities, which may include responsibilities for the development, implementation and management of the management and protection programs.

6. The company shall have a management of change program. The program should include:
• identification of changes that could affect the management and protection programs
• documentation of the changes
• analysis of implications and effects of the changes, including introduction of new risks or hazards or legal requirements.

7. The company shall have a documented training program for employees and contractors related to the company’s management and protection programs. The company shall inform visitors to company maintenance sites of the practices and procedures to be followed. Training requirements should include information about program-specific policies. Training should include emergency preparedness and environmental response requirements as well as the potential consequences of not following the requirements. The company should determine the required levels of competency for employees and contractors. Training shall evaluate competency to ensure desired knowledge requirements have been met. Training programs should include record management procedures. The training program should include methods to ensure staff remains current in their required training. The program should include requirements and standards for addressing any identified non-compliances to the training requirement.

8. The company should have an adequate, effective and documented communication process(es): to inform all persons associated with the company’s facilities and activities (interested persons) of its management and protection programs: policies, goals, objectives and commitments; to inform and consult with interested persons about issues associated with its operations; to address communication from external stakeholders; for communicating the legal and other related requirements pertaining to the management and protection programs to interested persons; to communicate the program’s roles and responsibilities to interested persons.

9. The company should have documentation to describe the elements of its management and protection programs- where warranted. The documentation should be reviewed and revised at regular and planned intervals. Documents should be revised immediately where changes are required as a result of legal requirements or where failure to make immediate changes may result in negative consequences. The company should have procedures within its management and protection programs to control documentation and data as it relates to the risks.

10. The company should establish and maintain a process to develop, implement and communicate mitigative, preventive and protective measures to address the risks and hazards. The process should include measures to reduce or eliminate risks and hazards at their source, where appropriate.

11. The company shall establish and maintain plans and procedures to identify the potential for upset or abnormal operating conditions, accidental releases, incidents and emergency situations. The company shall also define proposed responses to these events and prevent and mitigate the likely consequence and/or impacts of these events. The procedures must be periodically tested and reviewed and revised where appropriate (for example, after emergency events).

12. The company shall develop and implement surveillance and monitoring programs. These programs should address contract work being performed on behalf of the company. These programs should include qualitative and quantitative measures for evaluating the management and protection programs and should, at a minimum, address legal requirements as well as the risks.  The company should integrate the surveillance and monitoring results with other data in risk assessments and performance measures, including proactive trend analyses. The company shall have documentation and records of its surveillance and monitoring programs.

13. The company shall have a process to investigate incidents or any non-compliance that may occur. The company shall have a process to mitigate any potential or actual issues arising from such incidents or non-compliances. Such mitigation may include appropriate timing and actions for addressing the issues that arise. The company shall demonstrate that it has established a documented procedure to:
• set criteria for non-compliance;
• identify the occurrence of any non-compliances;
• investigate the cause(s) of any non-compliances;
• develop corrective and/or preventative actions; and
• effectively implement the required corrective and/or preventative actions.

14. The company should develop procedures to analyze incident data in order to identify deficiencies and opportunities for improvement in its management and protection programs and procedures.

15. The company shall establish and implement procedures to ensure that the records supporting the management and protection programs are retained, accessible and maintained. The company shall, as a minimum, retain all records for the minimum lengths of time as required by the applicable legislation, regulation and standards incorporated by reference into the regulation.

16. The company shall develop and implement a documented process to undertake audits of its management and protection programs and procedures. The audit process should identify and manage the training and competency requirements for staff carrying out the audits. These audits shall be conducted on a regular basis.

17. Senior management should formally review the management and protection programs for continuing suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. The review should be based on appropriate documentation and records including the results of the surveillance, monitoring and audit programs. This review should be formal and documented and should occur on a regular basis. The management review should include a review of any decisions, actions and commitments which relate to the improvement of the programs and the company’s overall performance.

Please contact us for more details on our OPR-99 compliance gap analysis. 512.630.3401 / website

If you have any technical questions on the regulations you can contact Ken Colosimo for communication in English at
403-292-4926 or Marc Pauzé for communication in French at 403-299-2790.
ken.colosimo@neb-one.gc.ca