The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) applauded the federal government's decision to eliminate red tape in pipeline projects which are federally regulated, and replace them with simpler processes that offer improved environmental protection. The 2010 Speech from the Throne indicated that the government plans to "untangle the daunting maze of regulations that needlessly complicates project approvals;" to continue to invest in clean energy technologies; and to reform the northern regulatory regime to help expedite key pipeline projects.
"CEPA welcomes this decision, which will help our member companies' pipeline projects avoid duplicative procedures and unnecessary red tape, while ensuring a better process for protecting our environment," said Brenda Kenny, president of CEPA. "Delaying decisions on these projects does not make them safer or more environmentally sound and in fact delays can move projects to construction times that are less ideal for the environment."
The 2010 federal budget reads that: Responsibility for conducting environmental assessments for energy projects will be delegated from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to the National Energy Board and the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for projects falling under their respective areas of expertise.
The National Energy Board (NEB), which has been in operation for more than 50 years, is accountable for large pipeline projects and international power-lines. This does not affect resource projects within provinces, such as oilsands.
"The changes in processes provide greater certainty to the industry. Well-coordinated and consolidated management and oversight is the best way to deliver results," said Kenny. "In terms of quality of evidence, quality of decision-making, focus on environmental results, and inspection and monitoring, the NEB will adhere to the same rigorous standards."
Pipelines are the safest way in the world to transport oil and gas and the track record of Canadian pipeline companies is second to none. CEPA member companies have built an outstanding pipeline system to transport energy to North Americans in the safest and most environmentally sound way, but are currently at a critical juncture in our country's history to build the infrastructure necessary to deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy to all Canadians.
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