Currently, under Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and regulations, all pipelines transporting natural gas with an index of 2690 or greater require an approval (Conservation and Reclamation Approval) for the conservation and reclamation activities associated with construction and reclamation of a pipeline. Administratively, Alberta Environmental Protection considers a pipeline requiring an Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act approval as a “Class 1” pipeline. The index is a calculation of length of pipe (in kilometers) multiplied by the outside pipe diameter (in millimeters).

NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) has developed and implemented a Conservation & Reclamation (C&R) Standard to streamline the provincial C&R Application process. By re-formatting the currently accepted C&R Application into a Standard document, textual information submitted for an individual project has been reduced, without affecting the quality of environmental planning.

The Standard document compiles NGTL’s environmental standard practices and mitigative measures undertaken for all pipelines. It also explains NGTL’s decision-making processes during the design phase of a project.

The project-specific document presents issue focused site-specific environmental details in a simplified format The C&R Standard in combination with the project-specific submission form the NGTL C&R Application.

NGTL’s C&R Standard was developed within a concept which uses key building blocks to achieve industry accountability. This concept requires an organization to have performance measurement tools in place, and to demonstrate commitment to that performance in order to earn public confidence. Once this confidence is established and maintained, an organization can realize industry accountability. Considering this concept, NGTL leveraged past performance and experience by documenting our consistent approach to pipeline design, and our performance measurement criteria into the C&R Standard.

Fundamental to the development of the Standard was NGTL’s Platform Design Concept. Initially this design concept was adopted as an integral component of NGTL’s business need to reduce and streamline internal processes. This concept was then applied to external processes in an effort to meet business needs.

The Standard includes two primary components, Guiding Principles and Platforms. By combining NGTL Guiding Principles (‘What’ and ‘Why’) and NGTL Platforms (‘How’), the Concept provides a systematic design guide for all projects that allows NGTL to make the right decisions based on the right design criteria.

NGTL submitted the C&R Standard document to Alberta Environmental Protection for review in July 1997 and is currently implementing the Standard for all C&R Applications. This paper describes the development of the document as well as the implementation process and experience of the Standard.

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