National Energy Board chair to make safety inspection reports public

VANCOUVER — The chairman of the National Energy Board is vowing to make pipeline inspection reports public in his latest effort to make the embattled regulator more transparent.

Peter Watson says the reports will be published on the board’s website beginning in September.

He says the board conducts about 150 to 200 inspections annually that include examining pipeline construction, monitoring the existing right-of-way and meeting with landowners along the route.

Watson says all of that information will be made public, and the only redactions would likely be personal information such as landowners’ names and contact information.

The chairman is meeting with the mayors of Langley, B.C., and New Westminster, B.C., today as part of a months-long, cross-country tour to improve relationships with local governments and the public.

He has also undertaken a public consultation on emergency response plans, which is set to wrap by the end of June; Watson says he expects to make a decision by fall on whether to require companies to publicly disclose their plans.

The Canadian Press