Warning letter to Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (TMPU)

CER File: DTP2019-005
Enforcement File: CV1920-441

9 October 2020

Registered with acknowledgement of receipt

Information not available
President and CEO
Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC
300 5th Avenue SW
Calgary AB  T2P 5J2

RE: Warning letter to Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (TMPU)

Dear Information not available:

Safety and environment oversight is a core responsibility for the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). This letter is to inform you that the CER has identified non-compliance with the Canadian Energy Regulator Onshore Pipeline Regulations, s.47.2, as TMPU failed to develop, implement and maintain a damage prevention program that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates damage to its pipeline and meets the requirements set out in section 16 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Pipeline Damage Prevention Regulations – Obligations of Pipeline Companies.

The CER holds its regulated companies accountable for the safety, security, and protection of workers, the general public and the environment. CER-regulated companies, as certificate holders, are required to follow the Canadian Energy Regulator Act and all its associated Regulations.


On 30 July 2019, TMPU reported a Damage to Pipe event (DTP2019-005) that had occurred on 29 July 2019. On 2 August 2019, CER staff attended the site to gather information and conduct interviews, and later the same day interviewed TMPU staff at a nearby location. Upon review of the information gathered on site and later through information requests to TMPU, the CER has determined that the TMPU staff member showed a willful disregard of safe activities near the pipeline by failing to follow TMPU’s written procedures regarding conducting excavations around its pipeline.

More specifically, the CER has determined that:

  1. On 29 July 2019, during an authorized 3rd party excavation across the pipeline, the Trans Mountain Mainline was contacted by the backhoe while removing debris that had fallen onto the pipe. There was coating damage and superficial damage to the pipe.
  2. A TMPU Pipeline Inspector (PI) was on site during the excavation activities. On 2 August 2019, CER staff interviewed the PI and the third party contractor’s site superintendent and excavator operator. All were in agreement that the PI directed the excavator operator to use machinery within 0.6m of the pipeline, a violation of TMPU policy. The PI admitted that TMPU has a procedure to request a variation from company procedure, but he did not ask for permission and knowingly violated the policy.


This warning indicates a non-compliance with section 47.2 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Onshore Pipeline Regulations, and is issued in accordance to the CER’s Enforcement Policy. It is intended to bring this matter to your attention in order for you to take the necessary corrective action to ensure ongoing compliance with Canadian Energy Regulator Act, its associated Regulations and related CER instruments.

As this matter has already been addressed, this written warning, and the circumstances to which it refers, will serve to form part of the CER’s records of TMPU, and may be taken into account during the CER’s compliance and audit planning or in response to any future non-compliances. TMPU is expected to exercise due diligence in meeting all CER requirements.

Please be advised that this letter will also form part of TMPU’s compliance history, and any future reported events may result in further enforcement action, including administrative monetary penalties, in accordance with the CER’s enforcement policy and procedures. You can find more information on the Board’s compliance and enforcement activities on the CER website: Compliance and Enforcement.

Should you have any questions regarding this review, please contact Information not available, Information not available, by telephone toll-free at 1-800-899-1265 or directly at Information not available, or by email at Information not available.

Yours sincerely,

Original signed by

Information not available
Director, Audit, Enforcement and Investigations
System Operations Business Unit
Canada Energy Regulator
210-517 10 Ave SW
Calgary AB  T2R 0A8

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