Safety and Lifecycle Regulation

Lifecycle of an NEB regulated pipeline

While most Canadians only hear about the NEB’s involvement at the beginning of a project, we actually regulate Canada’s federal energy infrastructure throughout its entire lifecycle. We do not simply make a decision on a project and walk away. When approved projects are being built and operated, we inspect and audit them. When a pipeline has reached the end of its usefulness, we hold a hearing to ensure that it is abandoned in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

In other words, the NEB regulates from “start to finish”, which can span the course of many decades. And we hold pipeline companies responsible for the full lifecycle of the pipelines they operate.

Regulatory Snapshot: NEB’s full lifecycle oversight

Video: The Lifecycle Approach

Webpage: Pipeline Lifecycle

Here is the lifecycle of a regulated facility, showing the NEB’s involvement at each phase:

NEB Lifecycle Regulation

View larger PDF version [PDF 6815 KB]

How does the NEB monitor pipeline safety?

The NEB uses Compliance Verification Activities to observe and gather information about the state of compliance in a specific area of a company’s operations, or to investigate whether companies are taking the appropriate preventive or corrective actions. Compliance Verification Activities include:

  • inspections (of facilities under construction or in operation)
  • emergency exercise evaluations
  • emergency procedures manuals reviews
  • formal compliance meetings (to check the progress of programs or corrective actions)
  • management system audits
  • reviews of post-construction monitoring reports

These activities are designed to determine if legislation and expectations are being followed, to assess if enforcement is required, and to provide feedback to a company. If our staff see something that is not in compliance with our regulations, they follow-up to make sure that corrective actions have been put in place and apply appropriate enforcement actions if necessary.

Each year the NEB conducts more than 250 Compliance Verification Activities of regulated companies. These tools are effective in allowing the Board to proactively detect and correct non-compliances before they become issues.

What compliance and enforcement activities has the NEB carried out for the Line 3 Pipeline?

In 2011, the NEB began proactively posting information on our compliance and enforcement activities. You can find information on the different types of compliance and enforcement activities on our website. You can also search by company under each activity type to see the results of our compliance and enforcement activities.

Please be aware that the information you find regarding the Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline relates to the pipeline that is being decommissioned and replaced, not the new pipeline under construction.

Enbridge’s operation and maintenance activities

As part of ongoing oversight of pipelines, companies are required to submit Operations and Maintenance Notifications, if they meet certain criteria (such as working near bodies of water). Operations and Maintenance Notifications, filed by Enbridge for all of its pipelines, can be found on our website.

Contact Information

If you have questions about the project, including whether or not the pipeline crosses your property, please contact Enbridge Pipelines at 1-888-967-3899 or via email at

For questions about the NEB’s role as the regulator of the Line 3 Replacement Program, please contact:

David Real
Operations Project Manager
Telephone (toll free): 1-800-899-1265

For media inquiries, please contact:

Sarah Kiley
Communications Officer
Telephone: 403-614-6526
Telephone (toll-free): 1-800-899-1265

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