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National Energy Board

Regulations for Pipeline Damage Prevention

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 Click or Call Before You Dig. These activities are governed by regulations for pipeline damage prevention made under the National Energy Board Act.

The Pipeline Safety Act amends the damage prevention provisions in the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act); these amendments come into force on 19 June 2016. As a result, the National Energy Board’s (NEB or Board) regulations for pipeline damage prevention must be updated by then.

The following regulations are in force on 19 June 2016:

  • National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Authorizations, SOR/2016-124
    • Replace the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part I, SOR/88-528
  • National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Obligations of Pipeline Companies, SOR/2016-133
    • Replace the National Energy Board Pipeline Crossing Regulations, Part II, SOR/88-529
  • Regulations Amending the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations, SOR/2016-134
  • Regulations Amending Administrative Monetary Penalties Regulations (National Energy Board), SOR/2016-135

HIGHLIGHTS: Updated 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. The regulations and related guidance provide details as to the obligations of those planning construction, ground disturbance activities or crossings in the area of an NEB-regulated pipeline as well as the obligations of pipeline companies.
  5. The basic safety steps in the damage prevention framework continue to be: planning the construction or ground disturbance activity and including time for approvals; making a locate request and contacting the pipeline company; being on site when the pipeline is located and understanding the locate marks; following the pipeline company’s safety measures and the instructions of the on-site pipeline company representative. If planning to cross a pipeline with a vehicle or other mobile equipment, the general requirement remains that pipeline company consent be obtained.
  6. With respect to crossings with agricultural vehicles or mobile equipment, the NEB’s Exemption Order Respecting Crossings by Agricultural Vehicles or Mobile Equipment (Order MO-21-2010) is revoked on 19 June 2016, at the coming into force of the regulations, as the intent of this order has been incorporated into the regulations.
  7. The regulations and guidance for pipeline damage prevention can be accessed on the NEB’s website ( on the NEB’s home page, please go to: About Us / Home / Acts and Regulations / Regulations, Guidance Notes and Related Documents under the National Energy Board Act / National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Authorizations and National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Obligations for Pipeline Companies.
  8. The regulations are in force as of 19 June 2016. The regulations and the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement will be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II at a later date; please check back on the webpage.
  9. The NEB is committed to continual improvement. Should you have questions or would like to provide feedback on the NEB’s regulations or guidance for pipeline damage prevention, please write or contact the NEB at any time.


Shannon Neufeld, Technical Leader, Damage Prevention
National Energy Board
Ph: 403-299-2778
Toll free: 1-800-899-1265
You can also submit questions by email to

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