Birchcliff is committed to constantly evolving and improving its health, safety and environmental management program and conducting its activities in a manner that safeguards its employees, contractors, representatives, the environment and the public at large. We have an active program to monitor and comply with health, safety and environmental laws, rules and regulations applicable to our operations.
Birchcliff’s corporate policies require operational activities to be conducted in a manner which meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and industry standards to safeguard the environment and protect employees, contractors and the public at large. Employees receive pertinent health, safety and environmental training for their role. Birchcliff conducts operational audits and assessments to identify risks and takes steps to reduce or prevent incidents. In addition, we have developed emergency response plans in conjunction with local authorities, emergency services and the communities in which we operate in order to be prepared to effectively respond to an incident should one arise. We rigorously conduct annual emergency response exercises and training for our staff that exceed regulatory requirements.
Birchcliff participates in Alberta’s Certificate of Recognition (COR) Safety Program and has received and maintained a COR certification since 2011. A COR certification demonstrates that the employer’s health and safety management system has been evaluated by a certified auditor and meets provincial standards, as established by Occupational Health and Safety (Alberta). Maintaining a COR certification requires a commitment to continuous improvement in the health, safety and environment management practices, including sound planning and implementation.
Birchcliff’s Health and Safety program is audited externally every three years by an independent auditor and internally annually by a certified professional. Birchcliff works hard to maintain the safety and integrity of its facility and pipeline infrastructure. Our Asset Integrity staff manages our Pressure Equipment Integrity Program in compliance with the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) requirements and our Pipeline Integrity Program in compliance with Alberta Energy Regulator requirements. These programs are audited internally on an annual basis and externally on a periodic basis to evaluate their effectiveness and are updated based on the findings from such audits. Birchcliff has received high audit scores from ABSA on two recent audits of its program. Our Chief Inspector and our Asset Integrity Group make use of databases and associated work tracking systems to ensure that all integrity tasks (inspections, pigging, etc.) are scheduled and completed according to the requirements set forth in our programs.
As part of our fundamental values, we recognize the importance of, and our responsibility for, environmental stewardship. Birchcliff endeavors to maintain excellence in environmental reporting and response and to take proactive steps to eliminate or reduce our environmental impact. As an organization which strives for continuous improvement, Birchcliff continues to look for, and develop, new technology, systems and processes that will help improve efficiency, reduce our environmental footprint and create a safer work environment. For example, Birchcliff utilizes multi-well pads in many of our drilling operations and we recycle as much water from our completion operations as we can.
We are also proud that we have received our allocation benchmark from the Alberta Climate Change Office as part of the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR). To the extent the Pouce Coupe Plant’s total regulated emissions is less than its output-based allocation, it will earn emission performance credits (EPCs). We anticipate that the Pouce Coupe Gas Plant will generate EPCs in respect of the 2018 financial year.
Environmental assessments are undertaken for new projects or when acquiring new properties or facilities in order to identify, assess and minimize environmental risks and operational exposures. Birchcliff conducts audits of operations to confirm compliance with internal standards and to stimulate improvement in practices where needed. Documentation is maintained to support internal accountability and measure operational performance against recognized industry indicators to assist in achieving the objectives of the described policies and programs.