CEPA: 2015 in Review – 5 Pipeline Milestones

April 2016, Vol. 243, No. 4

 Special to Pipeline & Gas Journal

The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) marked several pipeline milestones in 2015. These initiatives are designed to help make transmission pipeline operations safer and more transparent for Canadians and the environment:

  1. Pipeline Performance Report

Canadians should have access to the real facts about pipeline safety, environmental performance and operations. In our first Pipeline Industry Performance Report, launched in November 2015, is transparent information on pipeline operations, practices and incidents – our challenges as well as our successes.

These five facts about pipeline incident figures provide an understanding of some of the key statistics in the report and how to interpret them.

  1. Canadian Pipeline Technology Collaborative
    Canada has the second-highest number of pipeline researchers in the world. Individually, pipeline companies are working hard to make their operations safer and more sustainable, so it’s easy to imagine what they could achieve working together. That’s why pipeline companies have come together to share science, expertise and knowledge. In May 2015, the Canadian Pipeline Technology Collaborative (CPTC) was incorporated as a forum for cooperative research and innovation.

These blog posts help explain the CPTC and its goals: Developing pipeline technology – the challenge and the solution and 4 ways to make Canada a leader in pipeline innovation.

   3.   About Pipelines Map
Where are Canada’s transmission pipelines? Because most transmission pipelines run underground, invisibly and silently, for decades without incident, few have any idea where they are. CEPA’s new interactive pipeline map makes it fast and easy to locate natural gas and liquids transmission pipelines, and related facilities such as compressor stations or gas-processing plants.

Read more about the About Pipelines Map in this post: Looking for Canada’s transmission pipelines? There’s an interactive map for that.

  1. Public Disclosure of Emergency Response Plans

Emergency preparedness and response is critical in the pipeline industry, and the public has a right to know that operators are ready for anything. Many people are unaware that pipeline companies are required to have a detailed emergency response plan (ERP) for every pipeline they operate. Those plans aren’t always made public (at least in their entirety), because some information could infringe on individual privacy, national security, third-party confidentiality and environmentally sensitive information. The plans are shared with appropriate emergency planners, first responders and agencies.

In March 2015, CEPA appointed an executive task force to develop a common approach to public disclosure of pipeline emergency response plans. The goal is to provide a framework to find the right balance between the public’s right to know, the privacy of personal information and the security considerations required for public safety.

  1. Consistent Industry Standards and Practices

Another way pipeline companies make their operations safer and more sustainable is through consistent standards and practices across the industry. Last year saw the publication of the first national standard on damage prevention and the protection of underground infrastructure (CSA Z247-15). It covers pipelines and all other underground infrastructure, and provides a consistent, blanket standard for safety and damage prevention.

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