Condition Compliance and Lifecycle Approach
On 22 March 2010, the National Energy Board (NEB) approved the Keystone XL Pipeline project subject to 22 conditions. These conditions are related to public safety, protection of the environment, and ensure continued consultation between the company, landowners and Indigenous peoples.
The Canadian Energy Regulator Act came into force on August 28, 2019 and with that change, the NEB became the Canada Energy Regulator or CER. The CER continues to oversee all aspects of the Keystone XL project in Canada including:
The conditions attached to the Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity remain in effect as well as the associated Orders that require TC Energy to file documentation with the CER (formerly NEB) to demonstrate compliance. You can review these documents and any related CER or NEB correspondence here [Folder 609772].
Although the Keystone XL Pipeline Project does not require any further approvals from the CER other than ongoing condition compliance relating to the existing approvals, the company must obtain any applicable provincial or other permitting agencies’ permits, approvals or authorizations, if any are required.
How Does the CER Make Sure a Pipeline is Safe?
While Canadians mostly hear about the CER’s involvement at the beginning of a project, we regulate federal energy infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle. We do not simply make a decision on a project and walk away. When approved projects are being built and operated, we inspect and audit them. When a pipeline has reached the end of its usefulness, we hold a hearing to ensure that it is abandoned in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
In other words, the CER regulates from “start to finish”, which can span the course of many decades. And we hold pipeline companies responsible for the full lifecycle of the pipelines they operate.
Compliance Verification Activities
The CER uses Compliance Verification Activities to observe and gather information about the state of compliance in a specific area of a company’s operations, or to investigate whether companies are taking the appropriate preventive or corrective actions. Compliance Verification Activities include:
- Inspections of facilities under construction or in operation
- Emergency exercise evaluations
- Emergency procedures manuals reviews
- Formal compliance meetings (to check the progress of programs or corrective actions)
- Management system audits
- Reviews of post-construction monitoring reports
These activities are designed to determine if legislation and expectations are being followed, to assess if enforcement is required and to provide feedback to a company. If our staff see something that is not in compliance with our regulations, they follow-up to make sure that corrective actions have been put in place and apply appropriate enforcement actions if necessary.
Each year the CER conducts more than 250 Compliance Verification Activities of regulated companies. These tools are effective in allowing the CER to proactively detect and correct non-compliances before they become issues.
What Compliance Verification Activities and Enforcement Actions has the CER carried out for the Keystone XL Project?
In 2011, the NEB (now the CER) began proactively posting information on our compliance verification activities and enforcement actions. Compliance Verification Activity (CVA) Reports for the Keystone XL Project, are available on the CER’s website, and searchable by activity type. Enforcement actions are similarly publicly available and can be viewed on the compliance and enforcement section of the website.
Keystone XL Operation and Maintenance Activities
Companies are required to carry out operations and maintenance activities for the safe and secure operation of their facilities. As part of ongoing oversight of pipelines, companies are require to submit Operations and Maintenance Notifications, if they meet certain criteria (such as working near bodies of water). Operations and Maintenance Notifications [Folder 961507], filed by the company can be found on our website.
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Toll free fax: 1-877-288-8803
- Date modified: