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

NEB and emergency preparedness

NEB and emergency preparedness

Issue: NEB and emergency preparedness

NEB and emergency preparedness [PDF 771 KB]

An oil spill response exercise between the NEB, the Canadian Coast Guard
and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Emergency situations may occur at any time and at any place for activities we regulate. It is essential that the National Energy Board (NEB or Board) be prepared to operate effectively during an emergency to ensure public safety and a swift response.

As the key overarching federal legislation that applies, the Emergency Management Act sets out the leadership role and responsibilities of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, including coordinating emergency management activities among government institutions and in cooperation with the provinces and other entities. The federal government, provinces and territories developed an Emergency Management Framework for Canada which establishes a common approach for a range of collaborative emergency management initiatives in support of safe and resilient communities.

Emergency Response

Emergency Response

The NEB works in collaboration with other federal government institutions, provincial and territorial emergency management organizations, first responders, other stakeholders and communities in support of the overall emergency management system across the country.

Our Regulatory Expectations

Under the NEB Act, regulated companies must have an emergency management program that anticipates, manages and mitigates pipeline incidents of any size and duration should they occur. This requirement is fundamental to operating a pipeline in Canada.

The Board monitors and enforces compliance with emergency management program requirements throughout the life of a project.

NEB Emergency Response

The NEB’s top priority in any emergency is to make sure people are safe, and that property and the environment are protected. In the event of a release, the NEB requires a company to take any measures required to stop the flow of hydrocarbons, manage the incident, clean up the damage and ensure appropriate environmental remediation.

As the lead federal regulatory agency during a response to an emergency in our jurisdiction, the NEB will:

  • Monitor, assess, and compel additional actions by the responsible party if necessary
  • Participate in Unified Command
  • Integrate its expert staff into the incident management response structure

In the Incident Command System, a Unified Command organization consists of the Incident Commanders from the various jurisdictions or organizations operating together to form a single command structure.


NEB regulated companies are responsible for all costs associated, with a pipeline or facility incident. The NEB has the authority to order a company to pay others that have incurred costs or expenses in relation to a spill.

NEB-regulated companies are accountable to respond effectively to any incident with the highest regard to public safety and environmental protection. Should a company be unable to respond appropriately, the NEB will use legislated authority to assume control of the incident.

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