On Wednesday, Aug. 28, the National Energy Board (NEB) became the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). For further information please visit our Implementing the Canadian Energy Regulator Act information page

Preventing damage to pipelines

Preventing damage to pipelines

Issue: Preventing damage to pipelines

Preventing damage to pipelines [PDF 1635 KB]

Pipeline signs and marker posts do not indicate
the exact location of a pipeline or right of way.
ALWAYS call or click before you dig.

Under the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act), the responsibility to prevent pipeline damage is shared between anyone who plans to conduct an activity near a pipeline and the pipeline company. Pipeline companies are required to ensure that people know how to safely conduct activities near pipelines, and people planning activities near pipelines are required to confirm the location of pipelines and meet all conditions for authorization before they start these activities.

People planning activities near pipelines are required to Click or Call Before They Dig. You can find the nearest one-call centre to make a locate request anywhere in Canada at www.clickbeforeyoudig.com.

The NEB’s damage prevention framework is made up of a number of regulatory tools which describe requirements for pipeline companies and people planning activities near pipelines, and provide guidance on how to work safely. The NEB’s compliance monitoring and enforcement activities support this framework and are used to promote safety and environmental protection.

The National Energy Board’s (NEB) Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Authorizations, and Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Obligations of Pipeline Companies (otherwise known as, the Damage Prevention Regulations) apply to any NEB-regulated pipeline company and to any person planning or undertaking an activity near an NEB-regulated pipeline.

The NEB’s Damage Prevention Regulations:

Prescribed Area

Prescribed Area
  • Require pipeline companies to be members of one-call centres, and for anyone planning to conduct an activity around a pipeline to contact a one-call centre.
  • 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.
  • Provide the “prescribed area”, which is a strip of land measured 30 metres measured 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.
  • 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.

The NEB is committed to continual improvement of the regulatory framework for pipeline damage prevention. Should you have any questions or feedback, please send them to DPinfo@cer-rec.gc.ca.

For more information, please see the NEB’s Damage Prevention page. You will find information and guidance there for anyone planning to conduct activity near a pipeline.

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