Order HCA-001-2020 to NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. pursuant to Section 109 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act




Information not available, Construction Manager, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) is a person/Company conducting work associated with a: regulated facility; abandoned facility; or ground disturbance on or near a facility located near Chetwynd, BC.

On or about 26-28 January 2020 the undersigned Canada Energy Regulator inspection officer conducted a compliance verification activity of the North Montney Mainline Project, Spread 1.


On January 26 and 27 2020, CER Inspection Officers (IOs) observed multiple non-compliances and/or hazards to the environment, including observations within the Peace Moberly Tract (PMT), a unique, environmentally sensitive area of great significance to local indigenous communities (as per Section 1.1 of NGTL’s Peace Moberly Tract Protection Plan).

During the inspection, the Spread 1 Environmental Inspector (EI) and Lead EI were observed to be communicating the importance of environmental protection, yet environmental deficiencies in the contractor’s application of Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) measures remain.

Observations in the PMT included:

  • Four minor spills to ground (snow).
  • Spills were part of enforcement action during previous inspections of Spread 1 (Inspection Officer Order (IOO) AML-002-2018, CV1819-525 and CV1819-549).
  • Two of the spills were under a single bulldozer and were determined to be separate spills due to different locations and colour of spills. The last date in the equipment log book was 8 Jan 2020 and the worker on site indicated that the bulldozer had been there for a couple of weeks. NNC #4 of CV1819-525 was specifically related to checking unused equipment for spills. NGTL made commitments to emphasize the importance of leak detection, highlight the importance of environmental issues such as spills, and communicate to the workforce that spills are the responsibility of all workers.
  • The Environmental Standdown held by NGTL and attended by all workers (at that time) in response to IOO AML-002-2018 included several points reiterating the need for all workers to watch for spills and to check their work area, including around equipment.
  • The third spill was observed adjacent to a generator that was not equipped with a spill kit. The fourth spill was in the immediate vicinity but not attributable to a specific piece of equipment.
  • No fewer than 5 pieces of stationary equipment (such as light towers and frost fighters) were missing spill kits.
  • A fire extinguisher in a frost fighter did not have a current monthly inspection tag (dated April 2019);
  • Improper waste disposal, including:
    • Contaminated materials (spill clean-up supplies) in an open general waste bin in an enclosed shed used by personnel and for visitor sign-in to the worksite. A hydrocarbon-like odour was discernable with IOs entered the shed. This is a potential hazard for personnel.
    • General construction waste was observed on the ground in multiple locations.
  • Unnecessary idling of vehicles, which is a non-compliance to the EPP:
    • This was part of previous enforcement action (IOO AML-002-2018);
    • The CER IOs attended a meeting at which NGTL’s Spread 1 EI reminded attendees that it was a warmer day and to avoid idling.

Mixed Bury Cover Sump Site (KP 26+600)

  • CER IOs inspected the Mixed Bury Cover Sump Site (approximate KP 26 + 600) the afternoon of 26 January 2020. The site was inactive at the time. Several non-compliances and/or hazards were observed, including:
    • Open sumps (pits) were observed without perimeter fencing; the lack of fencing is a potential hazard to wildlife. This issue was previously identified by CER IOs as a non-compliance as part of CV1819-516 (Spread 2 of the same Project). The Spread 1 EI indicated to IOs that this requirement has been previously communicated to the contractor.
    • The storage tent was overcrowded. Hazardous materials and generators were improperly stored (stacked and some lacking secondary containment). One bucket of hydraulic oil was not upright and was leaning against another item, presenting a risk of the residual oil on the lid spilling to the ground as it was not within secondary containment.
    • Safety stickers related to equipment sound levels were incomplete. The templated stickers had a blank space to record the sound volume in decibels. This decibel-rating was not written or faded/illegible on more than one piece of equipment.
    • Tools were left on a light tower (and not stored).
    • Hazardous waste (empty containers of hydraulic oil) were within secondary containment but had not been removed from site for disposal.
    • Multiple (4-5) fire extinguishers on site did not have current monthly inspection tags. It was unclear if these extinguishers were in service or out of service.
    • The large garbage bin was partially open when IOs arrived at site, allowing sufficient space for wildlife (birds) to enter. A food container was observed on the ground outside the bin. The Spread 1 EI immediately picked up and disposed of the waste and the bin was closed before IOs left the site. The bin was not labeled to indicate the type of waste accepted.
    • Three light towers immediately adjacent to an open pit did not have spill kits.
  • CER IOs attended a meeting at 7:00am the morning of 27 January 2020 at which NGTL’s Lead EI for the Project informed the attendees of IO observations at the Sump Site and indicated that action was required to address the deficiencies at the location.
  • CER IOs returned to the same location the afternoon of 27 January 2020. Some non-compliances had not been addressed and new potential non-compliances (repeat issues) were identified:
    • Sound-rating stickers on equipment were remained blank on two light stands.
    • Three fire extinguishers with old tags remained on site.
    • Two boxes of windshield washer fluid were stacked and un-level on top of a generator and should have been within secondary containment.
    • The residual oil observed the previous day on a bucket of hydraulic oil had not been cleaned up, however the bucket had been placed within secondary containment.
    • Field-Level Hazard Assessment (FLHA) forms were not on-site, despite active work underway.


Pursuant to section 94 of the CER Act, the holder of a certificate or permit must take all reasonable care to ensure the safety and security of persons, the safety and security of regulated facilities and abandoned facilities and the protection of property and the environment.

Based on the facts references herein, the inspection officer has reasonable grounds to believe that there is or is likely to be a contravention of Parts 2 to 5 or section 335 of the Canadian Energy Regulator Act (CER Act), or for a purpose referred to in subsection 102(2) CER Act, the inspection officer may, by order, direct a person to

  1. stop doing something that is in contravention of Parts 2 to 5 or section 335 or cause it to be stopped;
  2. take any measure that is necessary in order to comply with Parts 2 to 5 or section 335 or mitigate the effects of non-compliance;
  3. stop doing something that may cause a hazard to the safety or security of persons, or damage to property or the environment or cause it to be stopped; or
  4. take any measure that is necessary to prevent or mitigate the hazard to the safety or security of persons or damage to property or the environment.


Information not available, NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd. is ORDERED pursuant to subsections 109(1) and 109(2) of the CER Act to:

 X take measures specified as per (b) and (d) above
   Stop doing something as per (a) and (c) above
   Suspend work associated with a facility, including a regulated facility, abandoned facility or ground disturbance until the hazardous or detrimental situation has been remedied to the satisfaction of an inspection officer or the inspection officer order is stayed or rescinded

Specified MeasuresFootnote 1:

Immediate Measures (no later than January 31, 2020):

  1. 1. Address all non-compliances identified during the inspection, including those described above.
  2. 2. Provide additional communication regarding the importance of environmental protection to the entire internal, contracted and sub-contracted workforce on Spread 1.
  3. 3. Provide documentation to the Inspection Officer via email confirming Specified Measure No. 2 has been satisfied, including:
    • How and when the information was communicated;
    • Specifics regarding the information that was communicated; and
    • How NGTL intends to verify the contractor workforce is improving performance with respect to environmental protection.

Measures to Be Completed as Soon as Practicable (but no later than Feb 4, 2020):

  1. 4. Conduct a fulsome check for environmental non-compliances and/or hazards against any relevant requirements in the Environmental Protection Plan and Peace Moberly Tract Protection Plan for Spread 1 of the Project. The checks are to be conducted in areas with parked and stationary equipment, waste storage or hazardous material storage, including but not limited to right-of-way, yards and camps.
  2. 5. Provide documentation to the Inspection Officer via email confirming Specified Measure No. 4 has been satisfied, including:
    • Areas checked (location, size, description of site);
    • A detailed list of non-compliances and/or hazards identified at each location;
    • Corrective actions taken for each non-compliance and hazard, including timing.
  3. 6. Provide a detailed plan for ongoing and regular communication about the importance of environmental protection to the workforce and the need to anticipate, prevent, manage and mitigate environmental hazards as required by s. 48 of the Onshore Pipeline Regulations This plan should include:
    • How and when the information will be communicated;
    • Specifics regarding the messages that will be provided; and
    • How NGTL will continue to verify that the contracted and sub-contracted workforce is improving performance with respect to environmental protection.

On or before February 5, 2020, file with the Secretary’s office a single package of the documentation previously sent to the Inspection Officer for Specified Measure Nos. 3 & 5.


This Inspection Office Order takes effect immediately on January 28, 2020 at the time of delivery of the Order to the person to whom it is directed. Nothing in this Inspection Officer Order shall be construed as reducing, increasing, or otherwise affecting what may be required of the person to whom it is directed to comply with all applicable legislative or legal requirements pursuant to any jurisdiction.


Failure to comply with an Inspection Officer Order issued under Section 109 of the CER Act is an offence under Section 112 of the CER Act.

Inspection Officer
Inspection Officer Information not available

Information not available
IO Designation Information not available
28 January 2020
210-517 10 Ave SW, Calgary AB  T2R 0A8


Please note that, in compliance with the CER’s Enforcement Policy, this Order will be posted on the CER’s website.

CVA or Incident #: CV1920-490

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