Canada unveils new pipeline safety measures ahead of new projects

|By:, SA News Editor

Canada introduces new measures to strengthen pipeline safety, ahead of the development of new projects proposed to carry crude from Alberta's oil sands to coastal ports for export.

The new legislation will give Canada's National Energy Board more power to enforce compliance on safety and the authority to step in to lead spill response; also, companies now will be held liable up to C$1B (US$917M) for all spills or incidents on their lines, whether or not they are at-fault or negligent.

"The 'polluter pays' principle will be enshrined in law so that it is clear Canadian taxpayers are not expected to foot the bill in the event of a major oil spill," Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford says.

The government is trying to raise public support for new pipelines as it prepares to rule on Enbridge’s (ENB) Northern Gateway project and Kinder Morgan's (KMI, KMP) plan to expand its Trans Mountain pipeline, and TransCanada (TRP) has proposed a line to carry crude to refineries on the east coast.