Minister Oliver: Proposed Regulations Will Further Strengthen Safety and Environmental Protection

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OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Feb 15, 2013) - The Honourable Joe Oliver, Canada''s Minister of Natural Resources, released the following statement in support of the proposed Administrative Monetary Penalty Regulations by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and the National Energy Board (NEB). These regulations were published today in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period.

"Our Government has said before that the development of Canada''s natural resources will not proceed unless it is safe and responsible. Responsible Resource Development ensures Canada''s regulatory regime for natural resource projects is among the most efficient, effective and competitive in the world.

"Today we are announcing the latest step forward in our plan. Our new administrative monetary penalties further strengthen environmental protection so that Canada''s natural resources are developed in a responsible manner for the benefit of all Canadians. 

"These proposed regulations support our plan by introducing tough new financial penalties for companies that violate the Nuclear Safety and Control Act and the National Energy Board Act, which will further strengthen public safety and environmental protection.

"They provide the CNSC and the NEB with the authority to administer penalties of up to $25,000 for individuals and up to $100,000 for corporations for each day that they are out of compliance. Today''s new milestone represents the first time federal financial penalties have been introduced for the nuclear and oil and gas pipeline sectors.

"These new penalties will complement existing enforcement mechanisms, such as inspections and criminal prosecutions, to ensure the NEB and CNSC have a full range of tools to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements.

"We are already increasing National Energy Board inspections of oil and gas pipelines by 50 percent annually from 100 to 150 and doubling the number of comprehensive audits of oil and gas pipelines from three to six annually so that potential safety issues are easier to identify before they occur. Through these measures and the proposed Administrative Monetary Penalty Regulations, which are expected to be in place in July 2013, we are further strengthening safety and environmental protection."

NRCan''s news releases and backgrounders are available at www.nrcan.gc.ca/media.

Contact:
Media may contact:
David Provencher
Press Secretary
Office of Canada's Minister of Natural Resources
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Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa
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