Canadian Manufacturing

NEB audit report concludes Enbridge is safely operating its pipelines

Numerous instances of non-compliance do not reflect a risk to public or environment, NEB says

CALGARY—The National Energy Board has released its audit of Enbridge Pipelines and concluded the company’s NEB-regulated facilities continue to operate safely.

The fifteen-month audit examined all aspects of the company’s operations and included field inspections, company personnel interviews, and a thorough review of safety and environmental protection documentation, the federal regulator said.

Overall, the NEB audit found that the company’s current systems are working well.

Despite the regulator’s conclusion that Enbridge’s operations are safe, the audit did find numerous instances of non-compliance. The report noted a “lack of integration of its Crossings program into the overall operational oversight management system processes” and a “lack of implementation of management system sub-elements consistent with the Board’s expectations.”

The NEB said the audit’s findings of non-compliance relate to the transition of the company’s existing management systems to an approach that ‎aligns with recent and explicit requirements specified in the NEB’s Onshore Pipeline Regulations. It made clear the compliance issues do not reflect a risk to public safety or the environment. It added that the improvements noted will help lead to a more robust safety culture.

The NEB’s Onshore Pipeline Regulations were amended to include the requirement of companies to establish internal safety management systems as of April 2013.

The next step in the NEB’s audit process requires the company to submit a corrective action plan to correct all non-compliant areas found during the audit. The NEB will actively monitor and evaluate the company’s progress toward achieving full compliance with regulatory requirements, the board said.

Each year, six audits are conducted as part of the national energy regulator’s mandate to ensure regulatory compliance among NEB-regulated companies. The NEB said audits are an important regulatory instrument to verify immediate and long-term public safety and environmental protection and to assure that companies maintain the integrity of Canada’s pipeline network on a continuous basis.

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