Pipeline companies are committed to creating and maintaining two-way communications with all stakeholders.
This two-way communication keeps stakeholders informed about the project and keeps the pipeline operator aware of community issues and concerns. It also helps to establish a working relationship and trust between the parties, which is necessary to resolve any contentious issues.
There are many ways to engage stakeholders but typically CEPA member companies use four basic steps to help them design and implement their stakeholder consultation programs:
- Phase 1: Identification of stakeholders and stakeholder issues
- Phase 2: Development of a consultation strategy, including setting out goals and objectives, and a detailed plan, including scheduling
- Phase 3: Implementation of the plan, including tracking, integrating input from stakeholders into projects plans, and considering any conflicting input between, land, environment, and local community considerations
- Phase 4: Reporting and evaluating on the consultation process
Information Gathering and Dissemination
A big part of the two way communication channel between pipeline companies and stakeholders involves providing materials for review and allowing for an open channel to receive input.
Project websites, advertising, community notices, public meetings and the distribution of project literature enable pipelines companies to share information about a proposed project with stakeholders. In some cases, one-on-one meetings with landowners, aboriginal and other community leaders are required to enable two-way dialogue and information sharing.
Other venues, such as town hall meeting or project open houses, provide opportunities for community residents to learn about many aspects of a proposed project and ask questions directly to project engineers, environmental experts and operations and maintenance staff.
In every community consultation process, the goal is to enable interested and impacted stakeholders to provide input to project proposers and have any issues or concerns addressed.
Social and Environmental Factors
There are social and environmental impacts with any construction project, and pipelines are no exception. Pipeline rights-of-way have to be cleared of vegetation and local communities may be impacted.
Stakeholder interests and concerns are constantly evolving, and so pipelines companies have to continuously listen to stakeholder and change the way they do business.
CEPA and its member companies strongly believe that communities need to be able to monitor and measure a project and company performance throughout the life of a pipeline, from design and construction, to operating and dismantling. Providing the information communities need to monitor projects and acquiring the consent of stakeholders ensures that pipeline companies earn their social license to operate.
Compensation for Access
To lay pipe, pipeline companies need access to land. Pipeline routes often travel through private property, communities, government-owned land and Aboriginal land. To gain access to this land, pipeline companies typically obtain easements that provide them with a limited right to use the property owned by another party. To obtain the necessary easements, pipeline companies enter into a dialogue with landowners, part of which is related to compensation for the use of their land.
In most cases, it is up to the landowner to work out an agreement with the pipeline company. In the rare situation where an agreement cannot be reached, a mediation and arbitration process will be established through a regulator.
Did you know?
Most jurisdictions provide for compensation to landowners for use of their land by pipelines companies.
- Land Title Act, Division 11 — Statutory Right of Way Plans
- Land Title Act Regulation
- Gas Utility Act
- Surface Rights Act
- Surface Rights Act General Regulation
- Negotiating Surface Rights
- Pipelines in Alberta — What Farmers Need to know (PDF)
- Surface Rights Acquisition and Compensation Act
- Surface Rights Acquisition and Compensation Regulations
- Surface Rights Act (PDF)