Damage to property

A company is responsible for damages to property caused by activities associated with its CER-regulated facilityFootnote 1. Under section 314 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act), a company must do as little damage as possible, and must make full compensation for all damage related to the construction, operation, maintenance, and abandonment of the facility.

Damage to property related to company activities may include: damages to physical property (for example, damage to buildings, facilities, vehicles, fences, soil, crops, livestock, surface drainage, or groundwater); and damages resulting from nuisance (for example, noise, odours, traffic, disruptions or impediments to reasonable use and enjoyment of the property, and the time required to address the situation); and a combination of these that can happen over the entire lifecycle of the facility. Note that this is not an exhaustive list.

What can you do about damage to your propertyFootnote 2?

The CER encourages you to reach out to your local company representative as the first point of contact as early as possible if damage is thought to have occurred.

It is helpful to document the damage to property wherever possible with photos, dates, and a comprehensive description. The following is a useful list when reporting damage to property:

  • Identify the company or contractor that caused the damage.
  • Explain the damage done in writing, through photos, or both.
  • Describe the location of the damage.
  • Describe the duration and effect of the damage.
  • Describe any expectations you had (for example, the fence would be repaired, or reseeding would be done with a certain type of seed mix).
  • Provide any supporting information, such as a quote from a local repair company.
  • Send your documented information to the company, including your contact details and preferred method of contact, and keep a copy for your personal records.
  • Detail any steps taken to resolve the issue.

In your discussions with the company, focus on what is needed to restore the damage to a condition that is to your satisfaction. Note that the company must always remain in compliance with the approvals and authorizations applicable to its facility or activity. Where restoration isn’t practical, the landowners may be entitled to monetary compensation. For information on how you can bring land-related compensation disputes to the CER, see Land use compensation on the CER website.

Parties are encouraged to work together to resolve damage claims and, where required, negotiate agreements involving damages. As is often the case, open dialogue between you and the company is an efficient way to resolve disputes about damage to property.

What if you have an unresolved dispute with the company?

The CER expects companies to establish and maintain strong relationships with the public and encourages landowners and interested parties to resolve disputes amongst themselves. If this is not possible, the CER’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services are available to assist with resolving the dispute. Participation in ADR is entirely voluntary and requires the consent of all parties. If both parties wish to address some or all their outstanding disputes through the ADR process, either party can make a request for the CER’s assistance or submit a completed Complaint Form [PDF 190 KB].

For more information about the CER’s dispute resolution services, please refer to the ADR page on the CER website or contact us at:

Email: ADR-RED@cer-rec.gc.ca
Phone: 403-292-4800 or 1-800-899-1265 (toll free)
Mail: Canada Energy Regulator
210-517 10 Ave SW
Calgary AB  T2R 0A8

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