National Energy Board Emergency Management Consultation June 2015 - Summary of Comments

The National Energy Board solicited the views of Canadians about emergency management and response between 27 April and 25 June 2015. The following questions were posed to learn about the type and level of detail in pipeline company emergency management information that would be most useful:

  1. Q1. What information would help you better understand how prepared a company is to respond in the event of an emergency, beyond what is currently available?
  2. Q2. What detail in Emergency Procedures Manuals is useful that would improve understanding amongst first responders and emergency personnel should a pipeline incident occur?
  3. Q3. Please add any additional comments on the transparency and the availability of emergency management and response information that you feel we should hear.
No. Document Link Summary of Comments


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: Scenarios companies use for response planning.

A2: Operating procedures and instructions based on geography, risk assessment and resources available.

A3: Do companies have a list of supplies, services, contractors within project areas? List should be available to the public.


Nicole McRae [PDF 19 KB]

A1: Question regarding adequacy of consultations.

A2: Question regarding what EM information is currently available.

A3: N/A


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: Companies have moral obligation to disclose safety information. Disclosure contributes to public safety. Acknowledge some security information may need to be confidential but overall safety plans and procedures should be public. Persons living near pipeline need to know equipment, resources and plans in place in case of a leak.

A2: First responders should have access to all emergency response procedures, resources, personnel and plans. Confidentiality agreements okay in rare cases.

A3: No reason companies cannot disclose this information.


Public Comments [PDF 25 KB]

A1: Use of in-situ burning and dispersant for Gulf of Mexico spill created adverse health and environmental effects. Want detailed description of how pipeline companies’ plans differ from this approach.

A2: Details of drills in all weather and visibility conditions. Provide frequent drills for first responders. EPMs should list locations of safety equipment for first responders.

A3: Government should invest in spill response R&D and make this public.


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: In the event of an incident, what emergency response activities carried out by the company vs. activities carried out by first responders? Do companies have agreements with first responders to provide response services?

A2: Disclose response plans, hazards identification, chemicals, storage tanks, pressure relief valve locations to first responders and update every 1-2 years.

A3: NEB should verify that companies liaise with first responders on an ongoing basis, and revise plans and procedures to accommodate changes in personnel, equipment, etc.


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: No amount of information is adequate.

A2: No amount of detail will assist clean-up efforts.

A3: Risk of oil spill unacceptable on BC’s west coast.


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: Pipeline emergency response system is good as long as companies respond quickly.

A2: Site Specific Operating Procedures.

A3: Concerned about pipeline watercourse crossings. Need to have monitoring equipment for line pressure, and isolation valves on either side of watercourse crossing.


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: Important to have high quality pipe material and automatic shut off in case of a leak.

A2: A control station should provide quick response.

A3: In event of a spill, local emergency services should be quickly notified, including police, hospital and other public service agencies.


Public Comments [PDF 18 KB]

A1: Annual public meetings to discuss emergency management.

A2: Too much detail onerous. Only enough for public safety.

A3: Training for first responders inadequate. They should be involved in drills and table top exercises.


Public Comments [Translation: PDF 16 KB]

A1: EPMs should be updated annually or more to ensure they are accurate, and updates should be shared with municipalities and first responders. NEB should periodically verify EPMs and updates, and post record of checks and results of audits on NEB website.

Risk analysis and impact modelling; response plans specific to each risk scenario; annual preparedness status report (or operations report), posted on company websites.

A2: Items listed in Schedule A of the OPR should be mandatory for EPMs.

Roles and responsibilities of responders that may participate in emergencies; results of risk analyses and impact modelling; procedures for alerting emergency responders and the public during an incident; MSDS for each product transported; resources available during an emergency and location; procedures for manually closing block valves; specific emergency plans for each risk zone/scenario assessed; specific emergency procedures based on type of product.

A3: N/A


Public Comments [Translation: PDF 25 KB]

A1: Training for first responders; availability of response equipment; joint preparation and implementation of emergency preparedness plans.

A2: Procedures to identify products in pipeline; procedure for ongoing CANUTEC sole-source support.

A3: N/A


Public Comments [PDF 18 KB]

A1: Good transparent relationship with companies and personnel involved in emergency management.

A2: Rural audiences want only pertinent information.

A3: N/A


Public Comments [PDF 21 KB]

A1: ERPs should be public so community knows what to do in case of an incident. Emergencies require assistance from local, provincial and federal responders.

A2: First responders (local fire depts.) need access to EPMs and spill response training.

EPMs must include different scenarios (e.g., earthquakes) and clearly state responsibilities and accountabilities (company, municipality, province, federal).

All parties that may be involved in responding to an incident should be consulted in developing, reviewing and approving EPMs.

A3: Companies must provide more training and education for first responders, municipalities and potentially affected public.

Companies must provide protective equipment, evacuation routes, incident command system, AQ modelling, HHRA, emergency planning and training on all levels. Companies must provide the funding, not province or municipalities.


Public Comments [Translation: PDF 19 KB]

A1: ERPs should be specific to the local environment.

EM documents should describe how company will consider risk management model for fire developed by the Ministère de la Sécurité publique de Québec, and the role of municipalities during emergency response.

Identify potential impacts of an incident on local environment.

Worst case scenarios that consider past incidents, causes, prevention and response measures.

Risk communication process based on QC’s Environmental Emergency Regulations that includes public and municipalities.

A2: Incorporate emergency response procedures already implemented by the municipalities and participate with emergency services in developing training and operational procedures that comply with the operational procedures of emergency services. Participate in establishing a control center attached to a municipal co-ordination centre (CCM) and various on-site emergency operations centres (COUS), and in defining the roles and responsibilities of each responder

A3: N/A


Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal [French only: PDF 269 KB]

A1: Develop ERPs that contain information adapted to each of the territories affected, including impacts, equipment available and mobilization, collaboration types, financial agreements, training, and follow-up measures.

A2:  incorporate local emergency response procedures used by municipal emergency response services. A comprehensive emergency procedure should include local guidelines and policies, collaborative co-ordination center, standardised dispatch protocols, response contact list, detailed maps, detailed product list, and alert mobilization procedures. 

A3: Make all relevant information available without requiring a confidentiality agreement, in a complete non-redacted version. Provide more frequent technical meetings in each territory or region to better inform municipalities and the public of pipeline-related issues, applicable standards and measures implemented to ensure pipeline integrity, and to enable the Board to better understand the expectations and positions of the people and institutions affected.


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: What are the differences between federal and provincial roles in responding to pipeline releases, e.g. NEB versus the Alberta Energy Regulator?

A2: ERPs should contain more detailed information related to a geographic risk assessment of the local area, e.g. location and description of waterbodies, local wildlife in the area, vegetation types, seasonal variability in weather (e.g. flooding conditions).

A3: N/A


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1: Landowners are directly and indirectly associated with emergency response activities and must be privy to the relevant emergency processes, policies and procedures to be followed at any time they wish to know/have this information.

NEB must undertake timely audits of safety and emergency response procedures, processes and policies.

A2: Product information, schedule, MSDS information, contingency plans, local risk, company personnel and first responder availability and response times, emergency contact information.

A3: NEB must require companies to be accountable, report, be transparent, and communicate and disseminate in a timely manner. 


City of Toronto [PDF 312 KB]

A1: Better understanding of non-conventional materials and consequences of spills; improved modelling of the behaviour of spilled materials in waterways; improved co-ordination of command and control structure at incident sites; walk-throughs of rights of way with pipeline and municipal staff to review equipment locations, control points, etc; enhanced control point mapping; development of MOUs to facilitate shared access to emergency resources where possible; improvements to exercises and facilitated access for municipal officials; enhanced public consultation and education to ensure public awareness and confidence in emergency measures; updating on NEB oversight and review of in-line inspection (ILI) techniques relied upon by operators.

A2: Regular updating of plans with input from municipal emergency providers; ongoing updating of appropriate municipal contacts in emergency plans; review and incorporation of source water protection measures such as those required under Ontario's Clean Water Act; details re max spill volumes and max response times; pro-active and ongoing approach to emergency planning; ongoing review and update of training and educational measures for municipal responders; air monitoring procedures to clarify conditions under which "shelter in place" or evacuation measures are required; details of tactical plans and control point mapping.

A3: N/A


Canadian Energy Pipeline Association [PDF 2375 KB]

CEPA guidance document for member companies on sharing emergency planning and response information with Canadians.

EMPs have a number of elements including ERPs which address worst case scenarios.

Companies work with emergency planners and responders to ensure complete awareness of their pipeline systems. Companies will ensure all the information in the ERPs is proactively shared with all parties tasked with ensuring public safety.

If a party requests access to an ERP but they do not have a direct role in emergency planning or response, and do not wish to enter into an agreement to protect the information contained within the ERP, the company will extract personal and security-sensitive information in accordance with requirements of Canadian legislation and/or any existing confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements the company is party to. When extracting information, companies will ensure a logical flow of the remaining information and will avoid extracting anything other than what must be protected.

  • Privacy information to be protected includes: contact information of company employees, contract personnel and those living within a defined EPZ; third party information that party wishes to remain confidential; commercial terms and contract information for contractors, consultants and/or businesses that may be involved in emergency response; third party proprietary information where in a CA or NDA is in place.
  • Security sensitive information to be protected will vary based on region, type of facilities and nature of security risks, but will always be determined through a company’s Security Management Program. For example, information that could allow a person to target an asset or location for damage or environmental impact, or to impact the ability of the company and first responders to respond to an emergency.


City of Calgary [PDF 150 KB]

A1: Timely corporate response; ensuring planning addresses worst case scenarios; clearly identify roles, resource accountabilities, gaps and mitigation strategies; verification of contractor capabilities and resources on regular basis; demonstrate consideration for all four pillars of EM.

A2: Include local emergency management agencies in notification lists; timely and early notification to local emergency authorities; outline how corporate emergency operations centres work with municipal EOC’s; common incident command systems and training.

A3: Simplified response plans; communication to public regarding risks.


City of Richmond [PDF 1352 KB]

A1: Companies must provide evidence of having a comprehensive EM program that aligns with the BC Emergency Response Management System.

Comprehensive hazard risk vulnerability impact analysis must be completed with input from subject matter experts, local authorities, jurisdictions and First Nations that may be impacted.

There is no formal structure for local authorities to understand risks, mitigation measures and impacts from NEB regulated facilities. This compromises City’s ability to fulfill its emergency response mandate.

Training and exercises should be provided for all personnel who may have a role in emergency response, not just company staff.

Companies should identify what response capabilities are available internally and under contract, including response times, limitations that could cause delays, and expectations of first responders.

Information regarding most likely situations/types of events and possible outcomes should be shared with communities that may be impacted by an emergency.

A2: Useful information would include knowledge of site information, processes and procedures to identify and notify local authorities and response organizations that an event has occurred, expected capability/limitations and procedures to assess and respond to the event and provide structure for multiple agencies to effectively integrate in a coordinated response with adequate training and exercises prior to an event.

Responders would benefit by obtaining specific Information regarding the details and characteristics of the product such as volume of product, site plan, location of response equipment, training (including response and Incident Command System).

A3: There is no guidance on what type or level of information should be shared and therefore it is at the company's discretion which may not meet the needs of the local authority. Due to the legislative mandates to the City by the Emergency Program Act, the local authority should have the ability to have input as to the level and amount of information needed to provide adequate planning and response capabilities for the community.


Public Comments [PDF 19 KB]

A1:  Types of scenarios planned for and worst case scenario and emergency exercise schedule that runs exercises frequently enough to maintain competency.

A2: Equipment and trained personnel from local first responders expected by company in event of a response.

A3: pre-identify first response groups that are capable and geographically able to respond to specialized pipeline incidents/ events.


Union des Municipalités du Québec [French only: PDF 191 KB]

A1: The emergency response plans of pipeline companies must take account of the Quebec civil security system principles. Therefore seems important that the guiding principles in the accident site Coordination Framework in Quebec are integrated into ERPs for Companies with pipelines in Quebec.

Municipalities must also have access to all the ERPs, and without having to sign confidentiality agreements. This would allow local emergency services to better prepare their interventions in case of incidents.

A2: Upon detection of an incident involving hazardous materials, procedures alert and mobilization contained in the ERP should also specify the need to alert local first responders. Municipalities must also have access to georeferenced pipeline routes in an electronic format. In addition, as recommended by the permanent vigilance Unit Petroleum the Government of Quebec, the block valves should be located at least a kilometre away from a watercourse to minimize the volume spilled in incident.

A3: To report to the municipalities and MRCs concerned of all spills occurring on their territory of all inspections carried out on a pipeline crossing their territory and all maintenance or repairs to the pipeline; Develop and disclose a history of effectiveness and efficiency management programs developed in connection with an incident to improve different plans, strategies and actions of intervention to implement.


City of Vancouver [PDF 145 KB]

A1: Comprehensive risk assessments that fully analyze the range of socio-economic and environmental consequences of worst-case oil spill scenarios as well as the cumulative effects of smaller, more frequent, oil spill incidents, must be the foundation of emergency management plans and programs for the NEB and the companies it regulates.

A2: The current system limits the capacity of local authorities to assess the risk to the public, the environment and first responders. In order to mitigate the consequences of an incident, including an oil spill, fire or explosion, on the public, emergency procedure manuals must be developed in consultation with local first responders.

A3: The City of Vancouver is concerned that these risks are increasing and that they have not been adequately assessed by the industry that creates them. For example, the transition of the transport of refined oil products and conventional crude oil to primarily diluted bitumen via aging NEB regulated infrastructure has occurred without sufficient knowledge about its fate and behaviour, and with no assessment of the consequences of a spill of this product to local populations.


British Columbia Ministry of Environment [PDF 73 KB]

A1: The sharing of emergency response information allows for the Province, local governments, and the general public and property developers to better ensure pipeline safety in communities. Local governments, through their fire and hazmat teams, will be able to integrate local plans with the operator for a more coordinated initial response. The Province submits that the benefit to the plan and to the public of fulsome disclosure of emergency response information outweighs the minimal security risk associated with a third party sabotaging or interfering with a response.

A2: The Province would support the public posting of Emergency Response Plans redacted to a similar level as those available on the US Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The PHMSA assists state and local officials strengthen and coordinate planning and prevention activities.

A3: We suggest that the disclosure of everything in the plan other than personal information about individuals is not only helpful and useful, but critical to the development of a functioning plan.


Union des producteurs agricoles [Translation: PDF 175 KB]

A1: The Union considers that Emergency Procedures Manuals for pipeline companies should be made public, particularly with people who are directly affected by the passage of a pipeline on their property and from the organizations that represent them. For this reason, the Union requests the Office to require all pipeline companies to make public their emergency manuals and their updates.

A2: Prior to the construction of a pipeline, pipeline companies must validate sensitive elements of each property crossed by the pipeline. When these inventories, drinking water wells are identified and those located at a distance of the pipeline are found in emergency management programs.

A3: In the case of an emergency, it is important to join all those whose property is crossed by a pipeline. If either of these properties is sold, the pipeline company must be able to contact the new owners concerned. Knowledge of these new owners is essential to understanding education programs for people living near pipelines. The Union requests the Office to validate the processes developed by companies to track property transactions of properties covered by a pipeline right of way, to ensure that they are effective.


Federation of Canadian Municipalities [PDF 180 KB]

A1:  A project's contribution towards local economies must be a priority in federal review and assessment processes, and must also be balanced with the environmental and social priorities of local communities. Municipal interests must be respected and reflected in federal assessment and review processes. Federal review and assessment processes must be efficient and ensure effective "smart government" coordination between government and departments.


Municipalities need to know what dangerous goods are being transported through, stored, or used in their communities so local services can plan and respond effectively to emergencies. Private-sector project operators and federal, provincial and territorial oversight agencies cannot plan for emergencies alone. Local governments and authorities must be involved as partners in emergency planning.

A3: Third-party liability insurance systems must be sufficient to prevent downloading liability costs on municipal taxpayers, even in the event of the bankruptcy of the original insurance holder. Municipal first responders must be equipped and supported to effectively respond to an emergency arising from a new federally regulated project. Up-front costs associated with participation in a federal review process and back-end costs resulting from any unrecoverable burden placed on municipal services and infrastructure by a federally regulated project must not be unfairly imposed on local governments.


Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako [PDF 107 KB]

A1: N/A

A2: Location and type of emergency response resources the company has, more consultation time, identify the expectations of local resources such as fire departments, search and rescue organizations, and policing. Also include response requirements for natural disasters such as wildfires, flooding, and earthquakes. Advise the responsible local government of an emergency incident.

A3: Local government must be consulted during the development of the pipelines emergency response plan regarding: accessibility issues during an emergency event; the location of residents in relation to the location of the pipeline; how residents will be cared for during and compensated after an emergency event; how the local government will be compensated for their role in an emergency response; and how damaged bodies of water and land will be remediated after an emergency event, and further, include the definition of remediation. A copy of the responsible company’s emergency response plan should be provided to the responsible local government prior to the start of ‘Operations Phase’.


Rick Munroe [PDF 71 KB]

Public awareness programs essential for effective emergency management. Public awareness particularly acute at high consequence sites (HCSs) such as hospitals, seniors’ facilities, high-rises, schools, places of mass assembly. People at these sites must have information required by OPR s.33-35.

Companies should be required to identify HCSs in proximity of their facilities and provide this list to the NEB.

Integrity requirements should be more stringent at facilities near HCSs.

Development of HCSs near NEB-regulated facilities should be restricted and require NEB approval.

Emergency/evacuation plans for HCSs should be developed collaboratively by the facility operator, local fire/EMS and pipeline companies.

People who live or work within impact zones of pipelines should receive complete emergency plans that are site specific. Residents should get the same plans given to first responders.


Georgia Strait Alliance [PDF 388 KB]

A1: Companies should be required to file emergency response plans during the application and hearing phase. With the lack of emergency response plans (WCMRC) publicly available, there is a lack of transparency which is harmful to building public trust and improving the robustness of BC’s oil spill response regime.

A2:  The GSA believes that the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in spill response should be clearly documented and transparent with Canadian citizens. This will include but not limited to including input from other agencies that may be involved during an emergency during the development of, and revisions to, an emergency procedures manual. Having clear line of communication to ensure anyone who might be impacted by an emergency. Ensure that response activity is aware of the practices and procedures to follow. Providing a continuing education program for first responders, other agencies and people who live adjacent to a pipeline. Finally conducting exercises to demonstrate a capability to respond during an emergency.

A3: GSA believes that pipeline companies and senior spill response partners should improve their communication and engagement with local governments regarding marine oil spill planning and training in the Georgia Strait region. Furthermore, pipeline companies and senior spill response partners should ensure that local governments and First Nations are proactively included in all oil spill trainings, exercises, drills and other planning initiatives, and that funding is not a barrier to participation.


Association of Municipalities Ontario [PDF 82 KB]

A1: Broadly speaking, our local municipalities would like to know first and foremost that companies have a plan, that this plan will be shared in detail with the local emergency personnel and in turn, that this plan will be coordinated efficiently with local emergency plans. There will be constant monitoring, frequent visual and aerial inspection of pipeline routes and the assurance of pipeline shut down at first sight of a potential problem; proper testing will be completed on an annual basis by utilities on potentially weak or penetrable sections of pipeline; and that the results of these activities be regularly communicated to local emergency personnel (including maintenance and repair schedules).

A2: Further details in Emergency Procedures Manuals which have been identified to prove useful to improving the understanding amongst first responders and emergency personnel, should a pipeline incident were to occur would include: that the company should train local personnel in handling their materials and this is updated regularly; while manuals and knowledge of the products in the pipeline is essential, there should be assurances that response and mitigation of a breach will be immediate and without debate; in addition to knowledge, communities need sufficient equipment and resources made locally available and also assurances that additional supports are on call from a distance; and that the company will pay for this equipment and will send industry experts immediately upon a spill or other emergency.

A3: Additional comments in terms of the transparency and the availability of emergency management and response information that should be considered include: that the highest form of immediate shut off technology is deployed adjacent to all sensitive areas; and that application approval not be given unless a formal Emergency Response Plan has been filed with the NEB and those plans identify each community and/or partner along the pipeline who will participate in an Emergency Response and the details of such plan, of which the NEB must approve.


Alberta Urban Municipalities Association [PDF 754 KB]

A1: The NEB should notify and continue to inform the AUMA and impacted municipalities about impeding major application and projects. Once the municipality and AUMA have been informed, the NEB, should encourage applicants to have municipal, stakeholder, and public engagement consultation. The public hearing and intervener process needs to be inclusive and transparent. More information and documents need to be made available to municipalities on the potential environmental impacts. The NEB should seek international best practices standards.

A2: There needs to be clarity in roles and responsibilities between the company, the federal government and the provincial government for emergency preparedness. These roles need to be communicated to municipalities. The NEB needs to: ensure that appropriate provisions are in place to fund remediation of abandoned pipelines, publish regular newsletters on safety statistics and environmental incidents, consider the recent legislative amendments relating to rail safety and implement similar changes for pipelines, research and disseminate international best practices for safety and environment, act as an enabler for smaller municipalities through funding and advisory services to ensure municipalities understand  what is required  to comply with regulations and directives so that companies can be held accountable. The severity of enforcement needs to be increased to ensure compliance and immediate response to spills and leaks. There is an opportunity to link monitoring to the work of Alberta's new environmental monitoring agency.

A3: Clarity on the role and responsibilities  between the AER and NEB as well as pipeline owners and applicants, particularly in complex projects where both bodies may provide oversight to different aspects of the pipeline or project or where there is overlapping regulatory jurisdiction. The NEB should proactively notify the AUMA when there are changes to relevant federal legislation and directives. This should come as an invitation to participate in consultation and provide input, as well as notification once the legislation has been enacted. The NEB and AER should have a policy in place regarding pipeline security that clearly articulates responsibility for monitoring and funding the safety of a pipeline when there is an imminent threat of a third party damaging energy infrastructure.


MRC d'Argenteuil [Translation: PDF 87 KB]

Council resolution stating that the concerns and comments of the MRC of Argenteuil Council are contained in the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal letter of comment, and in the MRC of Argenteuil presentation at the NEB Pipeline Safety Forum on 2 June 2015.

Companies must take into account the MRC of Argenteuil revised land use and development plan (LUDP) that establishes land use planning principles with pipeline projects are planned in the MRC’s territory. Namely:

  • Companies should participate actively in an integrated emergency response plan for communities affected by their projects to ensure more consistent action at the local, regional and national levels.
  • Companies should provide the MRC and local municipalities with a detailed integrated risk management plan so that civil security services can plan their responses more effectively, where needed.
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