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

Pipeline Facts and Myths

Pipeline Facts and Myths [PDF 4220 KB]

pipeline construction Click or Call before you Dig

A better understanding about pipelines and where they are buried can go a long way to ensuring your safety when living and working around them. Here are some common misconceptions about pipelines and the facts that make calling/clicking before you dig an important step.

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Common misconceptions about pipelines – Myths and Facts
MYTH The TRUTH is...

Markers show the exact path of the pipeline.

Pipelines do not always follow a straight line between pipeline markers. There could be bends in a pipeline at any location. A locate from the pipeline company is the only way to map the route of a pipeline.

If your project extends beyond the limits of your first locate, or if the locate expires you need a new locate to continue working safely.

There are always equal amounts of cover across a pipeline.

Ground cover across a pipeline can be uneven due to erosion, terrain, or other factors.

Pipelines are buried so deeply underground that no project could possibly endanger them.

Typically pipelines are buried between one and three metres below the surface. The depth of cover over a pipeline can vary for many reasons.

Company pipeline markers show the exact location of the pipeline.

Company markers are there to indicate the presence of a pipeline in the area. A locate from the pipeline company is necessary to know the exact location of a pipeline.

The pipeline sits in the middle of the right of way.

Pipelines can be located anywhere within the allotted right of way. A locate from the pipeline company is required to know where the pipeline is situated within the right of way.

If there is no sign - there is no pipeline.

Not necessarily – the only way to know for sure is to call / click before you dig!

Prescribed Area 30 Metres

The prescribed area, also called the safety zone, is the strip of land measured 30 m (100 ft) perpendicularly on each side of the centreline of the pipe. Ground disturbance activities within the prescribed area require written consent from the pipeline company (see Section 112 of the National Energy Board Act), the National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Authorizations, and the National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Obligations of Pipeline Companies).

Depth of cover over pipeline may vary.

That’s why when you are planning a project that involves digging, get the facts and CALL / CLICK FOR A LOCATE to protect the safety of your family, your community and the environment!

Contact the NEB

If you need assistance with any construction of a facility across, on, along or under a federally regulated pipeline or engage in an activity that would cause a ground disturbance within a prescribed area, please call 1-800-899-1265 and ask to speak to an Inspection Officer about Damage Prevention or email us at DPInfo@cer-rec.gc.ca.

For more information:

Visit our website at www.neb-one.gc.ca. To link to damage prevention information, scroll down on the left to Safety and the Environment and click on Damage Prevention.

The National Energy Board Act; the National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Authorizations, National Energy Board Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Obligations of Pipeline Companies; Guidance Notes – National Energy Board Regulations for Pipeline Damage Prevention; Pipeline Damage Prevention – Ground Disturbance, Construction and Vehicle Crossings; Living and Working Near Pipelines and other NEB publications are available on our website at www.neb-one.gc.ca or from:

The Publications Office
Canada Energy Regulator
Suite 210, 517 Tenth Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2R 0A8
Email: publications@cer-rec.gc.ca
Telephone: 403-299-3561
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265
Facsimile: 403-292-5503
Facsimile (toll free): 1-877-288-8803

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