August 2, 2019 – Line 3 Temporary Inspection Officers
Field inspections are an essential part of the NEB’s oversight of pipeline construction and operation. It’s one of the ways we help to protect the environment and keep people and their communities safe.
Inspections of Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Program are ongoing.
The NEB has designated certain individuals, including Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC) Indigenous Monitors, as Temporary Inspection Officers with limited authority, so that they may provide expertise and advice to NEB Inspection Officers during NEB-led inspections.
These individuals may provide Indigenous perspectives, technical expertise and advice to NEB Inspection Officers. Temporary Inspection Officers do not have authority to issue Inspection Officer Orders and their designations expire at the end of each NEB field inspection.
The involvement of Indigenous Monitors improves regulatory outcomes by providing relevant expertise and viewpoints. The NEB values this expertise as part of our inspection program and is committed to Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.
The Canadian Energy Regulator Act will enable Canadian Energy Regulator (CER) Inspection Officers to have others accompany them on CER inspections without being designated as Temporary Inspection Officers.
The Line 3 IAMC was established in October 2017 and is composed of 16 Indigenous members, one representative from Natural Resources Canada and one representative from the NEB. More information on the NEB and the IAMC is available on our website.
April 15, 2019 – NEB approves eight Leave to Open applications for the Line 3 Replacement Program
Before a company can begin operating a pipeline or even a section of pipeline, it must apply to the NEB for permission for Leave to Open (LTO). LTOs are an important part of the application process – and a requirement of the NEB Act. Currently, the NEB has approved eight out of 13 LTOs for the Line 3 Replacement Program. Before Enbridge can operate, all ‘prior to operation’ requirements must be satisfied.
As of March 26, 2019, Enbridge had submitted all necessary LTO applications for the Line 3 Replacement Program. The chart below provides information on the LTOs that have been approved:
|Facility / Line segment
|Filing Date and related Regulatory Documents
|Approval Date / Reference
|Modifications at Hardisty Terminal (Part 1)
|5 June 2018
|30 July 2018
|Modifications at Hardisty Terminal (Part 2)
|28 June 2018
|10 August 2018
|Modifications at Hardisty Terminal (Part 3)
|14 August 2018
|9 September 2018
|Modifications at Hardisty Terminal (Part 4)
|30 November 2018
27 February 2019 – IR Response
4 March 2019 – IR No. 2 Response
|4 March 2019
|Pump Stations Part 1
|21 December 2018
13 February 2019
18 March 2019
|8 April 2019
|Modifications at Hardisty Terminal (Part 6)
|23 January 2019
23 January 2019
|22 March 2019
|Modifications at Hardisty Terminal (Part 5)
|31 January 2019
|4 March 2019
|Modifications at Hardisty Terminal (Part 7)
|6 February 2019
|Pump Stations Part 2
|22 March 2019
|Maineline Part 1 – Hardisty Terminal to West Milden Pump Station
|30 January 2019
|28 March 2019
|Mainline Part 2 – West Milden Pump Station to Richardson Pump Station
|8 March 2019
|Mainline Part 3 – Richardson to Cromer
|20 March 2019
|Mainline Part 4
|4 April 2019
The NEB will continue its regulatory oversight throughout the lifecycle of this pipeline after construction is complete and the pipeline is in service. The project will consistently be monitored to ensure that Enbridge is compliant with the commitments it has made, the project-specific conditions and applicable regulatory requirements.
January 8, 2019 – Line 3 construction nears completion
Enbridge Line 3 Replacement Program construction is nearing completion. Once operational, the pipeline will carry approximately 760,000 barrels of crude oil per day from Alberta to Wisconsin.
Enbridge began its Line 3 Replacement Program construction in August 2017, to replace the current 34-inch line with a new 36-inch pipeline. The project construction was divided into nine spreads. Two of the nine spreads are complete, with the remaining seven expected to be completed in 2019.
NEB staff have been on the ground throughout construction, verifying compliance with regulations and project-specific conditions. In 2018 the NEB completed 34 inspections of the project in the areas of Environment, Safety, Integrity and Security. Twenty-two of these inspections were completed in partnership with Indigenous Monitors from the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee. You can view the NEB’s inspection reports on our website.
Enbridge’s targeted in-service date for the new pipeline is the second half of 2019. Prior to beginning operations, Enbridge must first apply for Leave to Open, and demonstrate to the NEB that its new facilities are safe to operate and transport oil. Enbridge has begun submitting its series of Leave to Open applications. As these applications are submitted, the NEB will assess and verify that the facilities are safe to operate and that all pre-operational conditions have been met.
Decommissioning of the existing pipeline will begin after the new pipeline is operational, and will take 12 to 18 months to complete.
The NEB will continue its regulatory oversight throughout the lifecycle of this pipeline after construction is complete and the pipeline is in service. NEB staff will continue to inspect the project to make sure that Enbridge is compliant with the commitments it has made, the project-specific conditions and applicable regulatory requirements.
Construction work on Line 3 Replacement Program, November 2018
March 2, 2018 – Construction of Line 3 is underway
Enbridge began building the Line 3 Replacement Project in August, 2017. The company plans to replace the existing 34-inch Line 3 pipeline, with a new 36-inch pipeline. Once construction of the new pipeline is complete, Enbridge will decommission the old 34-inch pipeline.
As part of the NEB’s approval of the project, we directed the company to file monthly construction progress reports. You can find these on our website.
Enbridge has divided construction of the project into nine spreads and work has begun at four of these spreads, located in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Construction of the new pipeline in three of the spreads is complete. Final clean-up activities will begin this summer. In the other spreads, construction has wrapped up for the winter. As part of the project, the company is also carrying out construction work at the Hardisty Terminal and nine pump stations.
Enbridge has also completed a trenchless crossing of the South Saskatchewan River. A trenchless crossing requires limited or no in-stream construction so will cause little to no disturbance to the watercourse bed and banks. The most common type of trenchless crossing is a Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD), which is the technique being used to cross the South Saskatchewan River.
NEB staff have been on the ground throughout the construction phase, verifying compliance with our regulations and project-specific conditions. To date, NEB inspectors have completed 16 inspections in the areas of Environment, Safety, Integrity and Security. You can view the inspection reports on our website.
Construction work on Line 3 Replacement Program, October 2017
August 1 2017- Enbridge to begin building Line 3
As part of the NEB’s review of the Line 3 Replacement Project, we attached 89 conditions to the project.
Some of these conditions apply to the project throughout its lifecycle however; approximately 20 conditions require Enbridge to file documentation with the NEB before construction can begin, including four conditions that required the NEB’s approval. You can review these documents and any related NEB correspondence here [Folder 2985609]
We determined in late July that Enbridge had satisfied the requirements for those conditions that applied to the pre-construction phase of the project and the company will begin construction in early August.
This is not the end of our involvement with this project. Our staff will be on the ground at different times throughout the lifecycle of this pipeline, inspecting the project to make sure that Enbridge is complying with the commitments they have made, the project-specific conditions and our regulatory requirements.
In fact, our compliance and verification activities have already begun: we recently completed a pre-construction audit to make sure that Enbridge had established the necessary oversight to manage safety and environmental protection during construction. We’ll make our findings public in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions about the NEB’s oversight role, please contact our staff at Line3Replacement@cer-rec.gc.ca
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