Filing Manual – Chapter 1 – Introduction

Table of Contents

  1. 1.1 Background
    1. 1.1.1 Transition from National Energy Board to Canada Energy Regulator
  2. 1.2 Purpose
  3. 1.3 Organization
  4. 1.4 Content Structure
  5. 1.5 Confidential Filing
    1. 1.5.1 Filing Requirements
      1. Guidance
        1. Sections 60 and 61 of the CER Act
        2. Other filings
  6. 1.6 Previously Filed Material
  7. 1.7 Pre-Application Meetings Guidance Notes
  8. 1.8 Public Engagement Resources
  9. 1.9 Updates
  10. 1.10 Measurement, Conversion Factors and Commodity Description
    1. Gas
    2. Liquids
  11. 1.11 Filing with the Canada Energy Regulator
  12. 1.12 Filing Digital Location Data

1.1 Background

The Canada Energy Regulator’s (CER) purpose is to promote safety, security, environmental protection and economic efficiency in the Canadian public interest through its regulation of pipelines, energy development and trade as mandated by Parliament. As a result, companies regulated by the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act) are required to obtain the Commission’s approval to, among other things:

  • add new facilities or modify or abandon existing facilities;
  • export or import oil and gas products; and
  • set tolls and tariffs.

When seeking approval, applicants must submit to the CER applications or information filings (collectively referred to as filings) that are complete and that enable the Commission to:

  • evaluate the overall public good that the request can create as well as its potential negative aspects;
  • weigh the various impacts; and
  • make an informed decision that balances, among other things, the economic, environmental and social interests at that point in time.

It is ultimately the responsibility of the applicant to make its case before the Commission, following the requirements of the CER Act and its regulations, as well as any other relevant legislation. This manual does not create new requirements, but has been developed to provide direction and guidance regarding the information the CER would typically expect to see addressed in a filing. The goal is to provide applicants with a clear definition of the CER’s expectations for complete filings. Complete filings should allow the Commission to carry out more consistent assessments with fewer information requests and therefore, shorten timelines required to make a decision.

As will be seen in the detailed requirements, in the process of assessing proposed projects, the CER uses a risk-oriented approach to evaluate issues, considering the probability and consequence of potential issues.

The contents within this document are based on the requirements outlined within the National Energy Board Rules of Practice and Procedure, 1995 (Rules). It is the CER’s expectation that applicants will use this document to the extent necessary. Checklists of all the filing requirements (summarized) are included in Appendix 1. The CER encourages applicants to submit completed checklists with each application.

1.1.1 Transition from National Energy Board to Canada Energy Regulator

On August 28 2019 the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act) came into force, replacing the National Energy Board Act. The CER Act introduces a modern governance structure with clear separation between key functions:

  • An independent Commission, headed by a Lead Commissioner, to adjudicate projects (e.g., hearings)
  • A Board of Directors, led by a Chair, to provide strategic oversight
  • A Chief Executive Officer, accountable for leading the organization and delivering results

Every decision or order made by the National Energy Board is considered to have been made under the CER Act and may be enforced as such. Every certificate, license or permit issued by the National Energy Board is considered to have been issued under the CER Act. Those instruments remain in force for the remainder of the period during which they would have been in force had the CER Act not come into force.

Regulations made under the National Energy Board Act remain in force under the CER Act until they are repealed or others made in their stead, as per the Interpretation Act. Updates to regulations are being implemented through a phased approach, starting with the Transitional Regulations for the Purpose of the National Energy Board Cost Recovery Regulations. The CER “Acts and Regulations” web page will be regularly updated with opportunities to provide feedback on regulatory development and notifications of regulatory changes.

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1.2 Purpose

This manual is designed to:

  • assist CER-regulated companies to identify the instances where a filing is necessary, pursuant to the CER Act and CER/National Energy Board (NEB) regulations;
  • outline the filings needed for most applications within the jurisdiction of the CER; and
  • provide guidance as to the type of information the Commission would typically need to make a decision.

Where a project does not appear to be addressed by this manual, the applicant is encouraged to contact the CER for assistance.

This manual is not explicitly applicable to:

Any party requiring Commission approval for these activities can refer to this manual for some guidance; however, it does not provide a comprehensive list of requirements for their filings.

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1.3 Organization

This manual is organized to easily identify the information required for each type of filing that is being made. In addition to the introductory information provided in Chapter 1, this manual is divided into the following chapters:

  • Chapter 2 describes how to use this manual and includes a flowchart that applicants can use to determine what elements are required in their filing.
  • Chapter 3 is the initial chapter for all applications and identifies the information which must be addressed in every application. After completing the requirements of Chapter 3, the applicant must then determine whether to proceed to Chapter 4 (physical projects) or Chapter 5 (non-physical projects).
  • Chapter 4 identifies the information required for physical project applications.
  • Chapter 5 identifies the information required for non-physical project applications.
  • Chapter 6 identifies the information required for filings other than applications.
  • Chapter 7 lists the CER documents referenced throughout this manual.
  • Appendix 1 includes the filing requirements checklists which applicants are encouraged to complete and submit with each application.
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1.4 Content Structure

The Filing Manual has been designed to assist applicants to clearly understand the information and level of detail required for a filing. The filing requirements are generally presented in the following format:

  • a goal statement that clarifies the purpose of providing the information;
  • filing requirements that specify the information details that are needed;
  • a guidance section that provides direction regarding, for example, the level of detail, potential issues and information references; and
  • grey boxes that provide direction to help determine if further information is required or not.
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1.5 Confidential Filing

The CER is committed to transparency and accountability. As an administrative tribunal, the Commission holds hearings that are open to the public and makes its court record available for public viewing. However, some filings may need to be made confidentially for any of the reasons indicated in sections 60 or 61 of the CER Act. As confidentiality is an exception to the fundamental principle that proceedings are open to the public, the onus is on the applicant to show why this remedy should be granted to keep information in a public proceeding confidential.

Filings may also be required by the CER for matters beyond proceedings of the Commission. Such filings may still be made available to the public as part of the CER’s commitment to transparency. Where a filing is unrelated to a Commission proceeding, sections 60 and 61 of the CER Act may not apply. However, an informal request can also be made of the CER not to make the filing public. 

The CER will protect the confidentiality of Indigenous knowledge if provided in confidence pursuant to section 58 of the CER Act. Confidential Indigenous knowledge does not need to meet the requirements described here. In situations where such knowledge is being shared, the CER will discuss the process and requirements with the party who is sharing that information.

Please note that all filings, regardless of whether they are confidential or not, are nevertheless subject to the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act.

1.5.1 Filing Requirements

Applications for all requests to treat filings confidentially, whether in a proceeding or otherwise, must have sufficient detail and provide:

1. A cover letter containing:

  1. a. the request and reasons for the request;
  2. b. a summary of the nature of the information to be treated confidentially; and
  3. c. a detailed description of why the filing requires confidential treatment.

2. If possible, a redacted version of the filing that can be made public (with redactions to the information requested to be kept confidential).

3. One unredacted copy of the filing that the applicant requests to be kept confidential. The filing must be provided via hand delivery, ordinary mail, registered mail or courier to the Secretary of the Commission in a double sealed envelope under confidential cover.

Guidance

Sections 60 and 61 of the CER Act

Sections 60 and 61 of the CER Act allow for certain filings in a proceeding to be treated confidentially and protected from disclosure. These sections will generally apply in respect of a filing related to:

  • any regulatory proceeding (i.e., applications filed under the CER Act or any other public hearing process under the CER Act);
  • matters related to condition compliance where the condition is a “for approval” condition of the Commission; and
  • in the case of section 61, information that is contained in any order under the CER Act.

For number 1c. above, the detailed description must indicate under which section or subsection of the CER Act confidentiality is being requested. Given the importance of maintaining open, accessible and transparent proceedings, any request for confidentiality should be as narrow as possible.

The detailed description must also clearly describe how the requirements of that section or subsection are met based on the language in the CER Act:

  1. 60 The Commission or a designated officer may take any measures and make any order that the Commission or designated officer considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of any information likely to be disclosed in any proceedings under this Act if the Commission or designated officer is satisfied that
    1. (a) disclosure of the information could reasonably be expected to result in a material loss or gain to a person directly affected by the proceedings, or could reasonably be expected to prejudice the person’s competitive position;
    2. (b) the information is financial, commercial, scientific or technical information that is confidential information provided to the Regulator and
      1. (i) the information has been consistently treated as confidential information by a person directly affected by the proceedings, and
      2. (ii) the Commission or designated officer considers that the person’s interest in confidentiality outweighs the public interest in disclosure of the proceedings; or
    3. (c) there is a real and substantial risk that disclosure of the information will compromise the safety and well-being of persons or cause harm to property or the environment.
  2. 61 The Commission or a designated officer may take any measures and make any order that the Commission or designated officer considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of information that is contained in any order under this Act or that is likely to be disclosed in any proceedings under this Act if the Commission or designated officer is satisfied that
    1. (a) there is a real and substantial risk that disclosure of the information will pose a risk to the security of pipelines, abandoned pipelines, power lines, offshore renewable energy projects, including buildings, structures or systems – including computer or communication systems, or methods employed to protect them – and the need to prevent disclosure of the information outweighs the public interest in disclosure of orders and proceedings; or
    2. (b) there is a real and substantial risk that disclosure of the information will compromise the safety and well-being of persons or cause harm to property or the environment.

When considering the confidentiality request, the Commission or Designated Officer may establish a comment process to solicit feedback on the request and may post a notice of the request on the CER website to permit comments from the public.

If the Commission or Designated Officer is satisfied that the filing meets the requirements set out in sections 60 or 61, it may take measures that it considers necessary to ensure the confidentiality of the filing. One such measure is that only select CER staff, Commissioners or Designated Officers responsible for considering the filing would have access to the information, and the information would not be available to the public. In some proceedings it may be necessary for fairness reasons for another party or parties to have access to the confidential filing, subject to appropriate undertakings or other protective measures.

If a request for confidentiality is granted the Commission or Designated Officer will provide reasons and issue directions or an order. The confidential information will be protected by the CER. 

If the Commission or Designated Officer is not satisfied that the applicant has demonstrated that the filing meets the requirements of sections 60 or 61, the document will be returned to the applicant and the applicant may refile the information on the public record, in order to have complete information for the application.

Other filings

Where a filing is unrelated to a Commission proceeding, sections 60 and 61 of the CER Act may not apply. However, an informal request can also be made of the CER not to make the filing public. Such informal requests can be made for filings that are unrelated to:

  • regulatory proceedings;
  • matters relating to condition compliance where the condition is a “for approval” condition of the Commission; and
  • information contained in any order under the CER Act.

In determining whether a document should not be made public, the CER will consider the reasons provided for requesting confidentiality, such as: similar criteria as sections 60 and 61 applications, any other applicable legislation, as well as whether a filing is expected to attract significant third-party interest. As such, requesters are asked to consider the requirements in sections 60 and 61 when providing detailed information explaining why a filing should not be made public.

When considering the request, the CER may seek feedback and may post a notice of the request on its website to permit comments from the public, if appropriate.

If the CER is satisfied that the filing should not be made public, it may take measures that it considers necessary to ensure that this is accomplished, subject to specific disclosures as may be appropriate to fulfill the CER’s mandate in conjunction with undertakings or other protective measures as necessary.

If the CER is not satisfied that the requester has demonstrated that the filing should be withheld from the public, the document will be returned to the requester and the requester may refile the information in a manner that would permit disclosure to the public.

Note: The CER will continue to treat all Emergency Response Manuals in accordance with Order MO-006-2016, as amended, even if treatment is not specifically requested. Therefore, no specific information that is protected from publication is necessary for the filing of Emergency Response Manuals where:

  1. the omitted information is substituted with a description of the nature of the protected information and a statement explaining why it is protected; and
  2. the filing is made in the following circumstances:
    1. outside of a regulatory proceeding; or
    2. condition compliance where the condition is not a “for approval” condition of the Commission.

Emergency Response Manuals being filed in the course of a regulatory proceeding or during condition compliance where the condition is a “for approval” condition of the Commission must be accompanied by a request that the CER treat a filing as confidential pursuant to sections 60 or 61 of the CER Act.

FYI – Order MO-006-2016 Compelling Publication of Emergency Procedures Manuals required under subsection 32(1.1) of the OPR

With respect to Emergency Procedures Manuals, applicants are reminded that, subject to redaction and exemption provisions set out in Order MO-006-2016 [Filing A79720] as amended, companies are required to publish the entirety of their emergency procedures manuals applicable to their CER-regulated facilities on their or their affiliate’s internet site for public viewing.

The CER anticipates that the version of the Emergency Procedures Manual published on a company’s website would be sufficient for filing in most regulatory proceedings. Requests from regulatory proceeding participants for a version to be filed other than the version published on a company’s website would be considered on an individual basis by the Commission and be subject to the considerations noted above in Section 1.5 Confidential Filing.

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1.6 Previously Filed Material

If an applicant wishes to refer to documents previously filed with the CER (e.g., company manuals, programs, standards or procedures) and those documents are still current, rather than resubmitting the documents, the applicant may:

  • indicate when, under what circumstances and under what CER file number (if known) the information was filed;
  • identify the version of the document referenced to indicate that it matches the previously filed version; and
  • identify the section of the document being referenced (if applicable).
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1.7 Pre-Application Meetings Guidance Notes

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1.8 Public Engagement Resources

The CER has a variety of public engagement resources, including videos and online or print publications, which applicants can use to inform potentially affected persons about the CER and its processes. On the CER website there is a detailed list of our publications and what each is used for. (See Guidance for Companies on CER Publications under Participation & Lands).

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1.9 Updates

It is the CER’s intent to update this document on a scheduled basis and when updates are necessary. The CER would appreciate any comments readers might have with respect to the content, usability or other matters associated with this document that could assist with future updates and revisions.

All comments may be directed to the CER by:

E-mail: filingmanual@cer-rec.gc.ca

Facsimile: Secretary at 403-292-5503

Mail:

Secretary of the Commission
Canada Energy Regulator
210-517 10 Ave SW
Calgary AB  T2R 0A8

The CER will communicate its future revision process and schedule and any interim updates at the website.

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1.10 Measurement, Conversion Factors and Commodity Description

Where possible, the CER would prefer that information within applications be presented in the International System of Units (SI), although it is helpful to include the imperial equivalent as well.

The following conversion factors should be used:

  • millimetre (mm) = 0.0394 inches (in)
  • metre (m) = 3.28 feet (ft)
  • kilometre (km) = 0.62 miles (mi)
  • cubic metre (m³) = 35.3 cubic feet (cf)
  • cubic metre = 6.29 barrels (bbl)
  • kilopascal (kPa) = 0.145 pounds per square inch (psi)

If other conversion rates are used, indicate this fact and provide the rates used.

Gas

For gas volumes, market requirements, estimates of reserves, and productive capacity estimates will be at a temperature of 15ºC and an absolute pressure of 101.325 kPa. Gas composition should be expressed in mole percent, and the heating value of the gas should be expressed in megajoules per cubic metre (MJ/m³). Volumes are requested to be in metric units as cubic metres (m³) and production rates as cubic metres per day (m³/d). The imperial equivalent would be cubic feet (cf) and cubic feet per day (cf/d) respectively.

Liquids

Descriptions of crude oil and equivalents will include, at a minimum:

  • classification of the crude oil;
  • specific gravity;
  • sulphur content upon which the classification is based; and
  • other properties when they are important to the design of the facilities or third party interests, for example:
    • viscosity or water content could be important to the design of the facilities; or
    • impurities could be of concern to third parties if more than one product is transported on the same pipeline.

Natural gas liquids (NGL) composition should be expressed as a percent and vapour pressure will be at a specified temperature.

Descriptions of refined hydrocarbons must include the type of product and any properties that might be important to the design of the facilities or third party interests.

All other liquid commodities must be described in sufficient detail for the CER to understand the nature of the commodity and how it might affect the design of the proposed facilities or third party interests.

All liquids volumes, with the exception of NGL and cryogenic liquids, will be submitted as the volume such product would occupy at a temperature of 15ºC and an absolute pressure of 101.325 kPa, unless otherwise stated in the application. For NGL and cryogenic liquids, the temperature and pressure at which the submitted volumes are measured will be provided.

Liquid volumes are requested to be expressed as m³ and production rates as m³/d. The imperial equivalent would be in barrels (bbl) and barrels per day (bbl/d), respectively.

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1.11 Filing with the Canada Energy Regulator

Parties who have the ability to file documents electronically are expected to file documents through the CER’s electronic document repository. Any person who has the ability to access documents through the repository must accept service of a notification that the document is in the repository rather than requiring a hard copy of the document be served.

For more information about filing electronically, please refer to the Filer’s Guide to Electronic Submission [PDF 606 KB] and the Memorandum of Guidance on Electronic Filing. Both of these documents are available on the CER’s website. Please note that e-mails are not considered electronic filing and will not be accepted in a hearing.

The CER’s electronic document repository will contain the full text of only those documents filed electronically (following the procedures mentioned above) and in hard copy. When documents are filed by hard copy or facsimile, the CER will undertake to file the documents on the submitter’s behalf. However, in some cases, the CER may choose to create an electronic placeholder for documents too large to submit electronically to the repository. In cases such as this, it will not be possible to view or search these documents. They will be made available for viewing in the CER’s library.

Companies are reminded not to file their security documents electronically, although they need to be available for examination by the CER during audits, inspections or other CER regulatory activities. For further information please refer to the National Energy Board Security Advisory – NEB SA 2007-03 Security Sensitive Documents.

If you are filing an application as hard copies, you must file 25 copies. Please use pressboard report covers rather than plastic binders. Pressboard covers are more compact and durable, and a large amount of plastic waste will be avoided.

If you file electronically, one hard copy must be subsequently filed. The hard copy must have attached to it a signed copy of the Electronic Filing Receipt that the system will return to the filer upon receipt of the electronic document. Please file your completed application with the CER and address it to:

Secretary of the Commission
Canada Energy Regulator
210-517 10 Ave SW
Calgary AB  T2R 0A8
Telephone: 403-292-4800
Facsimile: 403-292-5503

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1.12 Filing Digital Location Data

Applicants are required to provide point, line or polygon layer data used to produce the maps submitted with the application. Layers may include, for example, proposed pipeline route, facility site, pipeline centre line, class location, Right of Way, project footprint or study area. The digital layer data shall be in one of the following spatial reference systems: WGS 84 (EPSG:4326), NAD83 CSRS (EPSG:4617) or Lambert Conic Conformal (EPSG: 3979). Data layers shall be submitted as compressed Esri file geodatabase or shapefile files.

Applicants are not required to submit the digital geospatial data files for background layers from publicly available sources that show, for example: federal, provincial or indigenous lands, locations of communities, existing provincial or municipal roads or natural features (e.g. water bodies, forest cover).

With each GIS filing please e-file a cover letter indicating your submission.

If the file is less than 10MB, please email it to secretary@cer-rec.gc.ca. In the email, please include any relevant information, listed below, to your filing:

  • Cover letter Filing ID:
    Project:
    Title:
    File Number:
    Hearing Order:

If the file size is over 10MB, please copy it to a USB drive and mail the USB drive to CER. Please include the above information in your mail. The mailing address is:

  • Secretary of the Commission
    Canada Energy Regulator
    210-517 10 Ave SW
    Calgary AB  T2R 0A8
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