VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 26, 2013) - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today announced the latest step in the Harper Government's plan to support jobs and further enhance Canada's pipeline system by requiring companies operating major pipelines to have the financial capability to respond to any incident and remedy damage. For major crude oil pipelines, the government will expect a minimum financial capability of $1 billion. Minister Oliver also announced new, modern safety rules for pipelines and new financial penalties that will soon come into force for individuals and companies that violate environmental laws.
"Our government is developing our natural resources in a way that enhances jobs, long-term prosperity and environmental protection," said Minister Oliver. "The measures announced today strengthen Canada's already strong pipeline system even further. Our vast resource wealth is being developed responsibly, supporting Canada's growth and generating revenue for critical social programs."
Some of these additional measures include:
- New fines that will soon come into force that will preventatively address contraventions quickly so that larger issues do not arise in the future. The penalties to companies and individuals for a range of infractions can range from $25,000 to a maximum of $100,000;
- Requiring companies to appoint an accountable senior officer whose duty is to ensure their management system and programs are in compliance;
- Ensuring companies' emergency and environmental plans are transparent and easily available to the public; and
- Enshrining in law the 'polluter pays' principle explicitly in law. Currently it is only implicit;
Some pipelines are regulated by the federal government and others by the province.
"British Columbia's government is conducting its own review of pipeline safety, and we are working with them," said Minister Oliver. "These federal measures being announced today are a major contribution to the combined efforts of both levels of government on this issue."
Through our government's plan for Responsible Resource Development, we are undertaking aggressive measures to increase oil and gas pipeline inspections, double comprehensive audits of pipelines, implement new safety measures for oil tankers to ensure the safe and reliable transport of energy resources through our waterways. The proposed changes announced today will build upon these measures, to ensure that Canada's resource development and environmental protection is the strongest in the world.
For additional information on pipeline safety, please visit Natural Resources Canada's website: http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/pipeline/6698.
The following backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media:
Strengthening Canada's Pipeline Safety Regime
Administrative Monetary Penalties (National Energy Board)
NRCan's news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.
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