Pipeline companies will be liable for $1B in cleanup costs: Minister

Canada's Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford speaks during Question Period in the House of...

Canada's Natural Resources Minister Greg Rickford speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa March 31, 2014. (REUTERS/Chris Wattie)

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:47 PM ET

OTTAWA - The government will make federally regulated pipeline companies liable for at least $1 billion worth of costs and damages related to spills, Resources Minister Greg Rickford said.

Rickford said the new legislation, which is expected to be tabled before the summer, will also give the National Energy Board (NEB) the ability to side-step the courts and force companies to pay cleanup costs.

Moreover, the upcoming legislation will give the NEB the right to take control of environmental cleanup operations in the event that the company responsible for a spill cannot or will not assume responsibility, Rickford said Wednesday in Vancouver.

Finally, the government committed on Wednesday to integrating First Nations communities into future pipeline safety operations.

The new rules come in advance of several decisions on large pipeline projects including Enbridge's Northern Gateway and TransCanada's Keystone XL.


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