Pipeline Safety Act (S.C. 2015, c. 21)

Assented to 2015-06-18

Pipeline Safety Act

S.C. 2015, c. 21

Assented to 2015-06-18

An Act to amend the National Energy Board Act and the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act

SUMMARY

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.

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

SHORT TITLE

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Pipeline Safety Act.

R.S., c. N-7NATIONAL ENERGY BOARD ACT

 Section 2 of the National Energy Board Act is amended by adding the following in alphabetical order:

“abandoned pipeline”

« pipeline abandonné »

“abandoned pipeline” means a pipeline the operation of which has been abandoned with the leave of the Board as required by paragraph 74(1)(d) and that remains in place;

“Aboriginal governing body”

« corps dirigeant autochtone »

“Aboriginal governing body” means a council, government or other entity authorized to act on behalf of

  • (a) a band as defined in subsection 2(1) of the Indian Act, or

  • (b) a First Nation, an Aboriginal people or any Aboriginal organization that is a party to a land claims agreement or any other treaty, a self-government agreement or a settlement agreement;

“compensable damage”

« dommages indemnisables »

“compensable damage” means the costs, losses and damages for which the Tribunal may award compensation;

“ground disturbance”

« remuement du sol »

“ground disturbance” does not include a ground disturbance caused by

  • (a) any activity that is specified in the orders or regulations made under subsection 112(5),

  • (b) cultivation to a depth of less than 45 cm below the surface of the ground, or

  • (c) any other activity to a depth of less than 30 cm and that does not result in a reduction of the earth cover over the pipeline to a depth that is less than the cover provided when the pipeline was constructed;

“Tribunal”

« Tribunal »

“Tribunal” means a pipeline claims tribunal established under subsection 48.18(1).

 Subsection 3(3) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Reappointment

    (3) A member appointed under subsection (2) is eligible to be reappointed to hold office during good behaviour for any term of seven years or less.

Marginal note:2012, c. 19, s. 71(2)

 Subsection 6(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Chairperson’s duties

    (2) The Chairperson is the chief executive officer of the Board. The Chairperson apportions work among the members, decides whether the Board sits in a panel, and assigns members to panels and a member to preside over each panel. The Chairperson also has supervision over and direction of the work of the Board’s staff.

Marginal note:1990, c. 7, s. 5

 The portion of subsection 12(1.1) of the Act before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Inquiry

    (1.1) The Board may inquire into any accident involving a pipeline, abandoned pipeline, international power line or other facility the construction or operation of which is regulated by the Board and may, at the conclusion of the inquiry, make

Marginal note:1990, c. 7, s. 10

 Subsection 21(2) of the Act is replaced by the following:

  • Marginal note:Variation of certificates, licences and permits

    (2) The Board may vary a certificate, licence or permit but the variation of a certificate or licence, other than a variation changing the name of the holder of a certificate in respect of a pipeline or the name of the holder of a licence, is not effective until it is approved by the Governor in Council.

Marginal note:1990, c. 7, s. 10

 Section 21.1 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Transfer of certificates and licences
  • 21.1 (1) A transfer of a certificate or a licence is not effective until authorized by the Board.

  • Marginal note:Idem

    (2) In authorizing the transfer of a certificate or licence, the Board may, with the approval of the Governor in Council, impose, in addition to or in lieu of any terms and conditions to which the certificate or licence was previously subject, any further or other terms and conditions that the Board considers necessary or desirable in order to give effect to the purposes and provisions of this Act.

Marginal note:1994, c. 10, s. 23

 The heading before section 28.4 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Chief Conservation Officer and Chief Safety Officer

Marginal note:1994, c. 10, s. 23
  •  (1) Subsection 28.4(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

    Marginal note:Application to appeals
    • 28.4 (1) This section applies to appeals brought under section 21 or subsection 25(8) of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act by a person aggrieved by an order of the Chief Conservation Officer or by any action or measure taken or authorized or directed to be taken by that Officer, other than the referral of an order to the Board under subsection 58(5) of that Act.

  • Marginal note:1994, c. 10, s. 23

    (2) Subsection 28.4(2) of the French version of the Act is replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Pouvoir de décision

      (2) Après audition de la demande visée au présent article, l’Office peut soit infirmer, confirmer ou modifier l’arrêté ou la mesure du délégué à l’exploitation, soit ordonner d’entreprendre les travaux qu’il juge nécessaires pour empêcher le gaspillage ou le dégagement de pétrole ou de gaz ou pour prévenir toute contravention à la Loi sur les opérations pétrolières au Canada ou à ses règlements, soit rendre toute ordonnance qu’il juge indiquée.

Marginal note:1994, c. 10, s. 23

 The heading before section 28.6 of the Act is repealed.

Marginal note:1994, c. 10, s. 23

 Subsection 28.6(1) of the Act is replaced by the following:

Marginal note:Application
  • 28.6 (1) This section applies to an order referred by the Chief Safety Officer or the Chief Conservation Officer to the Board under subsection 58(5) of the Canada Oil and Gas Operations Act.

Marginal note:1990, c. 7, s. 14

 The heading “CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF PIPELINES” before section 29 of the Act is replaced by the following:

CONSTRUCTION, OPERATION AND ABANDONMENT OF PIPELINES

 Section 29 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (3.1):

  • Marginal note:Successor or assign — abandoned pipeline

    (4) For the purposes of this Act, a successor or assign of a company is deemed to be a company for any matter relating to an abandoned pipeline.

 The heading before section 48 of the Act is replaced by the following:

Regulation of Construction, Operation and Abandonment

Marginal note:2004, c. 15, ss. 84(1) and (2)(E)
  •  (1) Subsections 48(1.1) and (2) of the Act are replaced by the following:

    • Marginal note:Other measures

      (1.1) The Board may order a company to take measures in respect of a pipeline or an abandoned pipeline that the Board considers necessary for

      • (a) the safety and security of the public, of the company’s employees or of the pipeline or the abandoned pipeline; or

      • (b) the protection of property or the environment.

    • Marginal note:Measures to be taken

      (1.2) If a company does not comply with an order of the Board referred to in subsection (1.1) or an order of an inspection officer made under subsection 51.1(1), the Board or any of its officers or employees — or class of officers and employees — that the Board authorizes may take any action or measure that they consider necessary in relation to the abandonment of a pipeline by the company or in relation to the company’s abandoned pipeline, or they may authorize a third party to take any such action or measure.

    • Marginal note:No liability

      (1.3) No action lies against the Board or an officer or employee of the Board or against Her Majesty in right of Canada or an employee of Her Majesty for anything done or omitted to be done in taking any action or measure referred to in subsection (1.2).

    • Marginal note:Third party liability

      (1.4) A third party that is authorized under subsection (1.2) to take any action or measure referred to in that subsection is not liable in respect of any act or omission committed in taking those actions or measures unless it is shown that the third party did not act reasonably in the circumstances.

    • Marginal note:Regulations as to safety and security

      (2) The Board may, with the Governor in Council’s approval, make regulations

      • (a) governing the design, construction, operation and abandonment of a pipeline;

      • (b) providing for the protection of property and the environment and the safety and security of the public and of the company’s employees in the design, construction, operation and abandonment of a pipeline; and

      • (c) governing abandoned pipelines.

  • (2) Section 48 of the Act is amended by adding the following after subsection (2.2):

    • Marginal note:Regulations — Governor in Council

      (2.3) Without limiting the scope of the regulations that the Board may make under subsection (2), the Governor in Council may, on the Minister’s recommendation, make regulations

      • (a) specifying requirements with respect to monitoring pipelines; and

      • (b) respecting the actions or measures to be taken in preparation for or in the case of an unintended or uncontrolled release of oil, gas or any other commodity from a pipeline.

 
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