Hello. My name is Julie Gelfand, and I am Canada’s federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development. I am here to talk to you about our audit of the National Energy Board’s oversight of federally regulated pipelines.
The National Energy Board sets the requirements that companies must satisfy to ensure the safe operation of some 73,000 kilometers of pipelines, enough to crisscross the country more than 10 times. These pipelines are used to transport oil and gas to customers in Canada and abroad.
Our audit concluded that the National Energy Board did not adequately track companies’ implementation of pipeline approval conditions, and that it was not consistently following up on company deficiencies. We found that the Board’s tracking systems were outdated and inefficient. We also concluded that the National Energy Board is facing on-going challenges to recruit and retain specialists in pipeline integrity and regulatory compliance.
With the anticipated increase of pipeline capacity and the coming into force of the Pipeline Safety Act by June 2016, it is clear that the National Energy Board needs to do more to keep pace with the rapidly changing context in which it is operating.