The audit evaluated Keystone’s documented processes for managing construction-related safety, emergency, environmental and integrity programs for construction activities. It involved four months of on-site study, interviews with employees, and reviewing internal documents describing company procedures, training materials, and staff responsibilities.
The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) pre-construction review determined, at the time of the audit, TC Energy Corp. (formerly TransCanada) had not established the necessary oversight measures for safety management and environmental protection related to construction. The final audit report stated the intended construction activities hadn't been integrated into the full life-cycle management system required to ensure consistent and structured facility processes. It was also the opinion of the CER that TC Energy was considering shifting certain compliance and safety responsibilities to its Prime Contractors. Requirements maintain the certificate holder (in this case TC) is accountable by law - not those working on behalf of the company. Additionally, A Construction Safety Manual had not been submitted to the CER, which is specified under section 20 of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations. There were no concerns related to consultation noted in the audit.
The Canada Energy Regulator approved the CAPA (Corrective and Preventative Action Plan) TC Energy Corp. filed, including proposed solutions to issues and timeframes for implementation. Corrective action implementation of the CAPA must be demonstrated by TC Energy. The CER may assess and approve the actions. Upon confirmation the requirements have been met, construction will be able to move forward.
Some Background on Keystone XL
The 1,897km pipeline will eventually run from Alberta's oil sands to Steele City, Nebraska and would boost the flow of oil from Canada. A section running from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf opened in January 2014.
In August 2019, the Supreme Court of Nebraska supported state regulators' 2017 approval - opposition to the route had been a major obstacle for the project at the time.
The US Government issued a special permit allowing the pipeline to be built across 74km of the line’s route across land in Montana in January 2020. TC Energy acquired almost 100 percent of the necessary right-of-way by February 2020, according to president and CEO Russ Girling and preliminary work along the US portion of the pipeline route commenced two weeks ago.