Responding to Pipeline Incidents


Responding to Pipeline Incidents

Pipeline safety is a priority for the AER, but sometimes incidents happen. We believe that all pipeline incidents are preventable; we focus on reducing the number of incidents and take action to ensure that performance improves.

The AER requires operators to immediately report all pipeline incidents, including those in which a pipeline is hit but does not leak.

Operators are responsible for all aspects of incident response—from having a detailed emergency response plan to taking actions to remediate and reclaim a site. These requirements are outlined in Directive 071: Emergency Preparedness and Response Requirements for the Petroleum Industry. AER staff are also on hand to respond to energy-related incidents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to protect the public and environment.

During an incident, we work with the operator, local authorities, and provincial agencies to coordinate an efficient and effective response. Other operators in the region may also provide assistance.

Once the incident is over, we review each case to determine the cause. For serious incidents, we conduct comprehensive investigations and share what we learn with the individual operator and industry as a whole to help prevent similar incidents in the future. The findings from our investigation and any enforcement action we take are also made public on our compliance dashboard.

For information about pipeline performance in Alberta, visit the Industry Performance page.