Since our formation one of the highest priorities for the Pipeline Safety Trust has been to make more pipeline safety information easily available to the public, and to provide that information in ways that are understandable. One of our core beliefs is that such easily available, accurate information should help drive discussions about how safe pipelines are, whether that safety is improving or declining, and help us all focus on where improvements are needed.
The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, knowing that we were engaged with the federal regulators and industry on such an effort in the U.S., approached us last year to see if the Trust had any interest in helping get such a meaningful indicator project started in Canada. They recognized that without significant public involvement in the creation of indicators meant for the public, the end product could suffer from a lack of trust and support. They challenged us to design a small number of high-level indicators based on public desires and not to feel constrained by the reality of existing information collection or lack of harmonization between industry and regulators. In essence they said to us – tell us what pipeline safety indicators would you want to be able to see if you were king of the world.
The project is meant to initially propose some high-level pipeline safety indicators that represent issues that the public is interested in, and will help people to quickly better understand the current safety of pipelines in Canada as well as serve as indicators overtime of whether safety is improving or declining. An indicator is something that helps you understand where you are, which way you are going and how far you are from where you want to be. A good indicator alerts you to a problem before it gets too bad and helps you recognize what needs to be done to fix the problem. This project will also discuss what pipeline safety information needs to be made more easily publicly available so anyone can verify on their own all the indicators proposed.
Below are links to PDFs of the report outlining our initial indicators, as well as the results of the surveys we did in Canada and the U.S.
Materials From the Calgary Indicator and Transparency Forum