June 18: Pipeline Safety Act Gets Royal Assent

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The Pipeline Safety Act received Royal Assent and will come take effect in 12 months. The goal of the law is to improve Canada’s pipeline safety system by:

  • Enshrining the “polluter pays” principle
  • Ensuring companies remain responsible for abandoned pipelines
  • Requiring a portion of each company’s financial resources to be readily accessible to ensure rapid response to any incident
  • Providing NEB authority to take control of incident response and cleanup in exceptional circumstances, if a company is unable or unwilling to do so
  • Implementing “no fault” or absolute liability for all companies operating pipelines, set at $1 billion for companies operating major oil pipelines
  • Giving governments the ability to pursue pipeline operators for the costs of environmental damages.