In response to public pressure and in a desire to ensure that the public was adequately informed about potential projects, the National Energy Board (NEB) produced a Memorandum of Guidance with respect to its expectations regarding its Early Public Notification (EPN) program in 1990.
Over time, issues such as Stress Corrosion Cracking, Risk Assessment, Pipeline Integrity and Landowner Compensation have all significantly impacted the way companies have adjusted their approaches to the delivery of EPN programs.
In the future, the pipeline industry can expect that public consultation programs will increasingly become an essential component on both project specific and long range strategic communications planning. The purpose of this paper is to review the development and implementation of the EPN process and to propose future issues which may impact the planning and execution of consultation programs. The focus of this paper will be to:
A. Profile the evolution and delivery of EPN programs and review the communications tools typically used with EPN programs;
B. Examine the recent emergence of regional landowner interest groups and to review their effect on the regulatory process and issues such as pipeline integrity, pipeline safety and environmental stewardship;
C. Review how the pipeline industry has responded to public, Board and government initiatives regarding intervenor funding, and;
D. Provide insight into future EPN delivery systems as well as emerging trends with respect to public participation in the pipeline and resource sector.