CALGARY, AB, July – The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) takes action to protect Canadians and the environment, and to prevent damage to pipelines. We regulate natural gas, oil, and commodity pipelines that extend beyond provincial, territorial or national boundaries. Not following proper procedures for operations and maintenance (O&M) activities of a pipeline is unsafe. If pipelines are damaged, the result could be very serious.
Preventing harm is the foundation of how the CER keeps people safe and protects the environment. We confidently enforce some of the strictest safety and environmental standards in the world. Companies have to answer to us every step of the way as energy projects are planned, designed, built, operated, and abandoned.
The CER is today releasing full details of the $40,000 Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) AMP-001-2020 issued to Trans-Northern Pipelines Inc. (TNPI) for non-compliance with subsection 29(1)(c) of the Canada Energy Regulator Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR). The complete Notice of Violation (NOV), issued on June 25, 2020, is now publicly available following the 30-day appeal period.
In August 2018, the company was doing work on a 17-metre long section of pipeline as part of regular O&M activities on its 10-inch Oakville to Clarkson Loop pipeline. A contractor, under the supervision of TNPI, was operating a backhoe when it struck an adjacent TNPI-owned 16-inch pipeline. The contractor had not properly located and exposed the 16-inch pipeline before starting the excavation work, as required by TNPI’s maintenance safety manual. At the time of contact, the 16-inch pipeline was active and carrying gasoline. The 16-inch pipeline was damaged and required repair, but there were no injuries and no loss of product.
Following the incident, TNPI took a number of steps to improve safety, including updating procedures, revising its training, issuing safety bulletins, and hosting internal safety seminars.
- An AMP is a statutory financial penalty imposed on companies or individuals for non-compliance with certain CER requirements intended to promote safety or environmental protection.
- This violation incurred by TNPI occurred within a single day.
- NOVs and subsequent AMPs can take anywhere from two months up to two years to complete, depending on the complexity of the violation. Legislation allows an AMP to be issued within two years of the event.
- Even though a contractor committed the violation, TNPI is ultimately responsible because it is the owner of the licensed facility.
- Over time, depth of cover of a pipeline can change, which is why it is important to expose a pipeline before excavating with mechanical equipment, rather than relying solely on historical documents.
The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) works to keep energy moving safely across the country. We review energy development projects and share energy information, all while enforcing some of the strictest safety and environmental standards in the world. To find out how the CER is working for you, visit us online or connect on social media.