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Canada sets pipeline financial thresholds

The Canadian government will require pipelines under its jurisdiction to be strong enough financially to “respond to any incident and remedy damage,” it said in a press statement.

Major crude oil pipelines, for example, must have “a minimum financial capability of $1 billion,” according to Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources.

The federal government regulates pipelines that cross provincial or international borders.

Among new measures, the government will impose penalties on companies and individuals for a range of infractions of $25,000-100,000. The fines, according to the statement, “will preventatively address contraventions quickly so that larger issues do not arise in the future.”

The government also will require companies to appoint an accountable senior officer to ensure management systems and programs comply with its regulations.

It will ensure companies’ environmental plans are transparent and easily available for public review.

And it will make the “polluter-pays” principle explicit in law.

Federal oversight applies to about 71,000 km of pipelines and about 100 companies.

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