NEB issues order to Plains Midstream

The National Energy Board (NEB) has issues an order pursuant to section(s) 12 and 48 of the NEB Act that imposes six conditions upon Plains Midstream Canada ULC (Plains), including the requirement to conduct an independent third party audit of all the company's NEB regulated pipeline operations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario.

The NEB has also directed the company to submit for approval, by 31 January, 2015, documentation regarding immediate safety critical tasks; the operational controls used to mitigate hazards and risks; and a demonstration of the company’s process for review and maintenance of the controls to ensure their ongoing adequacy and effectiveness.

The NEB Order is a direct result of Plains' failure to correct non-compliant findings during the 2010 Management and Protection Audit Corrective Action Plan, and continued deficiencies throughout the company's safety management and environmental protection programmes.

Other conditions include the requirement to submit for approval, its quality assurance program prior to April 30, 2015, and to coordinate quarterly meetings with NEB staff to report on the company’s progress of its management system, performance of its management and protection programs, and to review the status of any corrective and preventative actions. The first quarterly meeting with NEB staff must occur before March 31, 2015.

The NEB has prescribed a two-phased approach to the third party audit. The first phase will examine Plains' management system and environmental protection programme, with a final audit port required on or before 31 December, 2015. The second phase will focus on Plains' integrity management programme, with a final response to the audit report required on or before 31 December, 2016.

The National Energy Board is an independent federal regulator of several parts of Canada's energy industry with the safety of Canadians and protection of the environment as its top priority. Its purpose is to regulate pipelines, energy development and trade in the Canadian public interest.

Adapted from press release by Hannah Priestley-Eaton

Published on 16/01/2015

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