The Alarm Bell is Sounding and the Regulator is at the Door: Emergency Response, Reporting, and Investigations in the Age of Heightened Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement

  • Allison Sears
  • Marianne (Chuck) Davies
  • Conor Chell
Keywords: Energy Law, Petroleum Law


In light of recent disasters in the oil and gas industry, there is increasing public pressure to develop more robust processes for responding to such disasters in Canada. In this article, the authors examine the emergency response procedures currently in place, and consider how oil and gas producers, carriers, and processors can improve these procedures. The article begins by outlining the emergency response planning and incident reporting obligations incumbent on the oil and gas industry, which is followed by an overview of the regulatory inspection powers that exist to investigate real and potential environmental, workplace, and safety incidents. Finally, the article considers what responding to an actual emergency would look like, and proposes best practices for the oil and gas industry.