ARCHIVED – Highlights – National Energy Board Regulations for Pipeline Damage Prevention

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Preventing damage to pipelines is a shared responsibility. Pipeline companies are required to ensure that people know how to safely conduct activities such as excavation and construction near pipelines, and people planning activities near pipelines are required to Call Before You Dig. These activities are governed by regulations for pipeline damage prevention made under the National Energy Board Act.

Currently, the National Energy Board (NEB or Board) is amending its regulations for pipeline damage prevention as required under the Pipeline Safety Act, which became law on June 18, 2015 and which will amend the National Energy Board Act within one year of that date. In addition, the proposed regulations include amendments to aspects of the damage prevention framework that were previously developed.

The draft regulations are now published in Canada Gazette, Part I for a 30 day comment period, which is a step in the regulatory process. The following highlights describe components of the proposed changes to the regulations.

HIGHLIGHTS: Proposed Changes for Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations

  1. Require pipeline companies to be members of one-call centres, where they exist in a province, and for third parties to contact the one-call centre before they plan an activity around a pipeline.
  2. Require pipeline companies to have a damage prevention program within their management systems. The damage prevention program includes requirements for NEB-regulated pipeline companies to: have a public awareness program; monitor land use and land ownership changes near a pipeline; and have standards and processes for managing activity requests and locates.
  3. Provide the “prescribed area”, which is a strip of land measured 30 metres perpendicularly on each side from the centreline of a pipe. Anyone planning to conduct ground disturbance activities within the prescribed area must meet the requirements outlined in the regulations or obtain approval from the Board.
  4. Align the structure of the regulations to incorporate the ground disturbance and prescribed area requirements in the Pipeline Safety Act. The proposed regulations largely maintain the existing conditions and measures required for anyone planning construction or activity near a pipeline, or crossing it with a vehicle or mobile equipment.

How to provide comments

Comments on the proposed regulations must be provided in writing and be submitted by mail, fax or email by 18 April 2016. All comments submitted must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, the date of publication (19 March 2016), and be addressed to:

  • Chantal Briand, Regulatory Approaches
    National Energy Board
    Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue S.W.
    Calgary, AB  T2R 0A8
    Facsimile 403-299-5503 or toll free: 1-877-288-8803

Further information is available on the NEB website, About Us / Acts and Regulations / Canadian Energy Regulator Act – Regulations, Guidance Notes and Related Documents / National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I and Part II.


Shannon Neufeld, Technical Leader, Damage Prevention
Canada Energy Regulator
Ph: 403-299-2778
Toll free: 1-800-899-1265

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