Alberta will be on board with CRN harmonization once adequate approval process developed

The CPA met with the Alberta government to discuss its concerns with signing the Canadian Registration Number reconciliation agreement as it is currently worded.

CPA Regulatory Affairs Vice-President Robert Loenhart met with Jon Elliott, director of standards development and support, mechanical, and Thomas Djurfors, executive director of safety services. According to Elliott, the Alberta Government has the following concerns:

  1. After the initial province has verified that a new pressure vessel has met regulatory requirements, no other province can review the vessel's criteria before it is approved. This may cause difficulties because of possible different uses and safety requirements due to differences between provincial uses. For example, oilfields can have higher containment safety standards than other province’s applications of the same type of vessel.
  2. Other provinces sometimes rely on the examination review provided by the vendor, which could provide biased results in order to get approvals. Alberta currently relies on the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) to conduct a third-party review in their approval process.
  3. Alberta frequently has very large installations that require more stringent standards for containment. If a pressure vessel manufacturer were to obtain CRN approval by a province that may have lower standards for the container's regulatory-approved use, the Alberta industy may be forced to use a product that does not provide the safety they may require. They would be forced to use the pressure vessel with the standard imposed by the initial province’s approval. This could open a ‘shopping-around’ type atmosphere where vendors go with the lowest requirement to obtain CRN approval, forcing another province to use that approved containment, despite the fact that it may not meet their requirements.
  4. ABSA currently has an online approval platform, but the current wording would make that platform unusable for CRN approval. If ABSA’s third party platform for approvals could no longer be used, historical knowledge regarding current requirements for some applications would be lost, as well as the loss of a system that currently works for Alberta’s high safety standards and requirements.

If a harmonized approval process were to be implemented using adequate approval mechanisms, Alberta believes it could be a great tool to remove added red tape in the CRN approval process. The government wants to assure everyone that they would be onboard once the CRN approval process met everyone’s standards.

Elliott said that ABSA and the Provincial-Territorial Advisory Committee are still working to implement an acceptable agreement that would meet the highest level of safety in all provinces to ensure the safety of each province’s workers. The harmonization of CRN was also refused by two other provinces based on the same concerns that the province of Alberta brought forward.