The Canada Energy Regulator’s Damage Prevention Framework

Preventing damage to pipelines is a shared responsibility. Pipeline companies are required to ensure that people know how to safely conduct activities near pipelines, and people planning activities near pipelines have to follow the requirements. The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) provides regulatory oversight of both parties, and must create the conditions necessary to hold people accountable for carrying out these responsibilities.

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

Framework: Act, Regulations, Regulatory Documents and, Guidance and Public Information
Text version of this graphic

Enabling legislation (CER's mandate) – Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act)

Requirements – Regulations

  • Damage Prevention Regulations
  • Onshore Pipeline Regulations
  • CSA Z662 – Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems

Requirements – Regulatory Documents and Tools

  • Examples include:
    • Certificate Conditions
    • Online Event Reporting System
    • Inspections and Orders; Enforcement

Guidance – Guidance and Public Information

  • Examples include:
    • Guidance Notes for NEB Regulations for Pipeline Damage Prevention
    • CSA Z247 – Damage Prevention for the Protection of Underground Infrastructure
    • CCGA Underground Infrastructure Damage Prevention – Best Practices
    • Call or Click Before You Dig

Click here to view enlarged version of the regulatory framework and related links.

Goals for the NEB’s Damage Prevention Framework

When developing the damage prevention framework, the CER has noted that all those involved in preventing damage to pipelines share common goals, that:

  1. Everyone working and living near pipelines understands their role in preventing damage to pipelines, the risks of unsafe work practices and where to get more information;
  2. Activities near pipelines are restricted only as necessary to protect people and the environment;
  3. Pipeline companies are aware of any proposed activity with the potential to damage their pipeline and can take action to protect people, the pipeline and the environment; and
  4. The CER is aware of activities that put people, property and the environment at risk, and takes corrective action when necessary.

Collaboration with the Damage Prevention Community

As the federal regulatory champion for the Canadian Common Ground Alliance, the CER will continue to collaborate with other decision makers, regulators, municipalities and provincial governments on damage prevention issues in support of:

  • Mandatory one-call requirements across Canada;
  • Simplified access to one-call notification centres and the damage prevention process; and
  • National best practices for working around pipelines.

Next Steps

The CER looks forward to continued collaboration in the implementation of the regulations and the development of guidance materials.

The CER is committed to continual improvement. If you have questions or would like to provide feedback on the regulations or guidance for pipeline damage prevention, please contact us at

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