Compliance Verification Activity Report 1516-492 – NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.

Type of Compliance Verification Activity: Field Inspection

Activity #: 1516-492
Activity start: 04/02/2016
Activity End: 05/02/2016

Related Activity Numbers:  

Inspection Officer Number(s): 2654,2463

Incident #:  
Landowner Complaint File #:  

Company: NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.

Facility Name(s): NPS 12 Suffield Lateral - South Saskatchewan River In-Stream Pipe Retrieval Project (the Project)

Province(s): Alberta

Theme(s): Environmental Protection

Compliance Tools Used:  


This activity was undertaken to verify compliance with the following regulatory requirements.

 X  NEB Act

 X  Onshore Pipeline Regulations

 X  CSA Standard Z662 Oil and Gas Pipeline Systems

 X  Other: Suffield Pipe Retrieval Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) - January 2016

    Electricity Regulations

    Processing Plant Regulations

    Pipeline Crossing Regulations Part I

    Pipeline Crossing Regulations Part II

Regulatory Instrument


Observations & Discussion

Observations & Discussion
Date visited Location Theme Compliance Confirmed
04-Feb-16 Site - South Saskatchewan River Crossing - Feb. 4, 2016 - PM Environmental Protection Yes

Key documents were posted in an accessible area in construction trailer, including the Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) for the Project, the O&M Notification to the Board and the Government of Alberta Water Act Code of Practice Notification.

A steep hill with an average estimated slope of 15 degrees leads from the temporary work space (TWS) area for the Project at the top of the slope down to the western bank of the South Saskatchewan River. The soils disturbance in this area of the right-of-way (RoW) was observed to be narrowed (~10 m), as compared with the ~ 60 m wide of RoW present at this western slope. Access to the lower work area is along the hill. All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) were available to transport staff up and down the hill on an as-needed basis.

Signage prohibiting fueling within 100 m of a watercourse was observed on site in several places. A designated re-fueling area was observed approximately 450 m from the river, in TWS for the Project, located on permanent RoW near the construction trailer.

A spill kit was located approximately 10 m from the designated refueling area. Two additional spill kits were observed on site. NEB inspection staff viewed the contents of one of the three spill kits, which was appropriately stocked.

Soils separation and management was observed to be appropriate on site. Topsoil, subsoil, and substrate material (from the stream bed) were each stored separately. Stockpiles of topsoil and subsoil were observed to be contained within sediment fencing. Sediment fencing was also observed on the ~ 10 m wide hill access that lead from the parking/construction trailer area towards the river. NEB inspection staff did not identify concerns with soils management on site at the time of the inspection. Sediment control measures were adequately installed and appropriate.

Flagging tape was observed to identify areas where bird’s nests were noted during a pre-work wildlife survey. Flagging was in place to prevent accidental disturbance of the nests, which were not in the active work areas. Construction activities were taking place outside of applicable wildlife Restricted Activity Periods.

Two staff personnel from Stantec, an environmental consulting company were responsible for turbidity monitoring and fish rescue on the site. Turbidity monitoring locations were 50 m upstream, as well as 50 m, 100 m and 200 m downstream from the active work area. Stantec personnel indicated that turbidity levels were considered acceptable if measured values were within 8 Nephelometric Turbidity Units (NTU) of background levels. According to Stantec staff, all measurements were within this threshold for the duration of the monitoring thus far. Fish rescue was discussed during the inspection. Stantec staff indicated that the isolation (with meter bags) was successful, and that nightly fish traps within the isolated area were empty for the last four nights. NEB inspection staff found fish rescue activities to be appropriate.

The scope of work conducted on site during the inspection was the removal of an ~ 20 m section of NPS 12 pipe using tracked equipment with slings. The pipe was removed from an excavated area, which was isolated from the river using ~ 1 m³ stacked meter bags (filled with washed gravel and a heavy impermeable poly layer). TransCanada representatives indicated that removed pipe would be sheared into manageable sections, wrapped in poly and transported off site for further testing and investigation.

Observations & Discussion
Date visited Location Theme Compliance Confirmed
05-Feb-16 Site - South Saskatchewan River Crossing - Feb. 5, 2016 - AM Environmental Protection Yes

TransCanada representatives indicated that the planned work for the day included the following scope:

Staging of the work area using tracked equipment was planned, in order to prepare the excavated area for a search for an ~ 3 m section of pipe. TransCanada representatives indicated that calculations showed that such a piece could remain in-situ.

A ground search using personnel was planned, in order to confirm if a ~ 3 m pipe was present in a ~ 300 m radius of the incident site.

Upcoming, planned work includes reclamation of the hill slope using a Site Specific Plan. NEB inspection staff discussed the planned hill restoration with TransCanada representatives.

NEB inspection staff conducted a spot-check of contractor personnel to determine if workers were in possession of the TransCanada Environmental Handbook. Of the five workers asked, not all had the handbook currently on their person. However, NEB inspection staff were satisfied that the workers were familiar with the handbook, understood where to find copies and the importance of contacting the Environmental Monitor if any concerns arose.

Compliance Summary

This notice reflects the observations of non-compliance with regulatory requirements or company commitments, made by the inspection officer during the compliance verification activity. If the corrective actions identified are implemented by the completion date, the matter is considered resolved. Any unresolved compliance matters will be addressed by the inspection officer and may be referred to NEB enforcement staff.

517 Tenth Avenue SW Calgary, Alberta  T2R 0A8
Telephone: 403-292-4800   Toll Free: 1-800-899-1265


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