CEPA members are ready to respond to every emergency

Long before a pipeline is laid in the ground, pipeline operators have an emergency response plan in place. Safety and emergency preparedness are the industry’s number one priority. CEPA members’ emergency plans reflect that with their complexity and detail, covering every possible scenario.

Incident management

When an incident occurs, the first steps in responding can include:

  • Remotely closing valves and shutting down the affected section of pipe to cut off the flow of product. This is done by the pipeline control room that operates 24/7 365 days a year.
  • Dispatching first responders and clean-up crews to the incident site.
  • Notifying the appropriate landowners, stakeholders and regulatory bodies.
  • Once responders are on site, work begins to contain the product to minimize spreading and protecting nearby wildlife, water bodies and vegetation.

In addition to initial response activities, emergency responders and company personnel assess and begin repairing the damaged section of pipeline. Extensive work is done to remediate and restore the site, which may include cleaning soil and planting vegetation. Affected areas are then monitored to ensure no further action is required.

The primary focus of responding to an emergency is protecting employees, communities and the environment.

Learn more about what is included in an emergency response plan.


CEPA members are continually working toward a goal of zero incidents. If something does go wrong, CEPA members often work together with local first responders and other pipeline operators to ensure the safety of communities and protection of the environment.

In 2016, CEPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC) as a means to enhance awareness of first responders. CEPA has led firefighter awareness and training sessions to help ensure both the safety of first responders and fast responses to incidents.

When incidents occur, they impact the entire industry. And every CEPA member company is committed to responding to incidents in the most efficient and effective way to minimize any impact to the environment and nearby communities. That’s why each CEPA member has signed the Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement (MEAA), which has been in place since 2013. The MEAA allows CEPA members to ask for assistance from another member company during a pipeline-related emergency. This assistance can come in the form of human resources, equipment and tools.

Find out more about how we collaborate.

Practice, practice, practice

CEPA member companies regularly hold emergency preparedness training exercises. In fact, CEPA members perform approximately 335 exercises a year — almost one every day.

During an emergency, time is of the essence. That is why workers who participate in practice scenarios and respond to real-life incidents also have constant access to specialized emergency response equipment strategically placed at various sites, so they can act quickly to minimize the impact to communities and the environment in the event of an incident.

Regulation oversees our operations

Regulatory agencies in Canada require every pipeline operator to have an emergency management program, which includes comprehensive emergency response plans. When pipelines cross provincial borders, the National Energy Board regulates and audits the plans; while provincial pipelines are regulated by the provinces. These strict regulations are another layer of vigilance when it comes to pipeline safety.

Plans are updated regularly, and audited and reviewed by the appropriate regulatory bodies.

Pipelines remain the safest method of transporting the energy Canadians use every day. Should an incident ever occur, CEPA members are ready, able and equipped to respond in a safe and timely manner.