Although Inter Pipeline’s goal is zero incidents, we invest heavily in training and preparedness in order to respond promptly, safely and efficiently in the unlikely event of an incident.
Since 2014, Inter Pipeline has added around $3.5 million in emergency response equipment and we conduct upwards of 50 training exercises annually. We also operate state-of-the-art control centres and leak detection systems that provide real-time operations monitoring.
Our Emergency Management Program
Learn more about our Emergency Management Program:
- Notification and Incident Command
- Incident Command System
- Training and Exercises
- Emergency Response Plans
- Emergency Response Equipment
- Oil Spill Containment and Recovery (OSCAR) Trailers
- Wildlife Trailers
- Response Boats
- Safety Data Sheets (SDS)
Inter Pipeline’s Emergency Management program is an all-hazards program that includes mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. It is designed to provide a continuous cycle of improvement.
Although rare, pipeline releases require caution and immediate action. If you notice any of the following around an Inter Pipeline facility, right-of-way, or suspect a pipeline emergency, immediately call our 24hr Emergency Number.
Inter Pipeline’s 24hr Emergency Number : 1-800-727-7163
What to look for
- A petroleum odor (similar to gasoline or diesel fuel)
- Strong sulphur smell (like rotten eggs)
- Dead or discoloured vegetation
- Vapour or mist clouds
- Pools of liquid when the rest of the area is dry
- Petroleum sheen on water
- Dense fog-like plumes or frost balls on the ground
- Unusual hissing or roaring sound
In the event of an incident, we use the Incident Command System (ICS) to effectively manage our response.
ICS is a standardized incident management system designed to enable effective, efficient incident management by integrating a combination of equipment, facilities, personnel, procedures, and communications operating within a common organizational structure. This system allows for coordination between stakeholders. ICS also allows Inter Pipeline to effectively manage our emergency communication and ensure all affected stakeholders, including the public, are notified promptly during any emergency. If the public is potentially affected by an incident, we will work with the local municipality to ensure appropriate emergency communications are delivered and the appropriate public protection measures are put in place.
Our Emergency Management department maintains a database of local contacts and will contact affected communities in the event of an incident. Public notification during an emergency may occur through door-to-door visits, telephone, electronic notification, social media, broadcast media, and community signage. Notification for Indigenous communities will occur through Inter Pipeline’s Stakeholder Relations department as part of the ICS Liaison Officer responsibilities. The Stakeholder Relations department maintains a database of local Indigenous community contacts and will contact affected communities as soon as possible.
Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) hosts a Digital Data System (DDS). This online reporting system is intended for use by regulated companies, such as Inter Pipeline, to provide notification to the AER of various events defined in regulations, including incidents, unauthorized activities and operations, and maintenance activities. If a member of the public wishes to report an event they can contact the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) at 1-800-222-6514, or the Ministry of Economy in Saskatchewan at 1-844-764-3637.
We recognize that the local authorities and/or other potentially impacted provincial agencies and communities may wish to receive additional information. Therefore, Inter Pipeline is committed to establishing solutions that ensure stakeholders are aware of the situation. The provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan each have a single reporting number which is used to call-out additional resources if required.
ICS is used to establish near and long-term response operations ensuring all facets of an incident are managed.
This command structure also enables the federal government, provincial government, local authorities, and Inter Pipeline to work together towards mutually agreed upon goals and focus on effective and efficient response. For large incidents, government agencies, such as the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), and provincial or municipal agencies will often share the responsibility of command of the situation.
During an emergency, having open and frequent communication between Inter Pipeline personnel, emergency responders and various government agencies is essential. The ICS outlines clear roles and responsibilities with respect to responding to and managing emergencies. The system brings together our functions with federal and provincial governments and local authorities to achieve an effective and efficient response.
Our employees receive the training necessary to protect themselves, the public, local communities, and the environment during an incident.
Training enables Inter Pipeline employees to perform their designated emergency responsibilities. Training is reinforced by conducting regular emergency response exercises and we make reasonable efforts to coordinate all training and exercise plans with key stakeholders and communities.
There are several types of emergency response training available to our employees. At a minimum, all employees who could potentially be involved in an emergency response receive Incident Command System (ICS) Level 100 training, training on emergency response plans, and operations personnel also receive spill responder training.
Response exercises allow us to practice the knowledge and skills received in training, identify areas of future training priority and areas to improve current emergency procedures or equipment, as well as engage with local response agencies. Exercises are also an opportunity to share information with first responders and stakeholders to understand each other’s roles and responsibilities in the unlikely event of an incident.
Our Field Initial Response and Support Team (FIRST) and Business Support Team participate in exercises each year. At a minimum, each Inter Pipeline operational district participates in two exercises per year, which may be a deployment, tabletop or functional exercise. These exercises test different areas and scenarios and are held in communities where we operate.
The Business Support Team is required to participate in at least one full-scale exercise every two years and a workshop, tabletop, or drill annually as they are responsible for setting up the corporate Emergency Coordination Centre to support field operations during an incident.
To request participation regarding upcoming exercises, or to have your community considered as a location for an exercise, please email email@example.com and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
We are prepared to respond quickly with emergency response plans and trained professionals.
The most critical and responsible emergency preparedness strategy is to prevent an incident from occurring. We combine careful planning with regular training, equipment deployments, and mock emergency exercises. Additionally, we complete annual reviews and updates to our Emergency Response Plans (ERP) and other program documents.
Inter Pipeline’s Emergency Management Program is a comprehensive set of policies, procedures, and processes designed to support our commitment to the safety and security of the public, workers, company property, and the environment.
Our current Emergency Management Program includes Emergency Response Plans (ERP’s) that have been developed based on risk. These ERP’s are location-specific and cover all current operations for Inter Pipeline’s pipelines and facilities. The ERP’s also identify locations of emergency response materials and equipment, are regularly practiced through field deployment, and are constantly being updated to keep them current.
We also provide resident information brochures to residents that live in the vicinity of our pipelines and facilities. Please see below for brochures that have been published and distributed:
We own and maintain a large cache of emergency response equipment strategically placed in Alberta and Saskatchewan. This equipment ensures we are able to respond to any emergency in a timely manner.
Inter Pipeline is proud to abide by the Mutual Emergency Assistance Agreement as a member of the Canadian Energy Pipelines Association (CEPA). This agreement enhances emergency response effectiveness by assisting other members in the event of a significant emergency. If requested, we will respond to an incident of any other member with appropriate assistance. Assistance may be in the form of personnel, equipment, tools, or specialized response advice, depending on the situation, as needed. We are also a member in good standing with Western Canadian Spill Services (WCSS).
Emergency response equipment, such as spill drums with absorbent material to assist in immediate cleanup of any local spills, is available at all facilities. Other emergency resources, such as riverboats and response trailers, are located at strategic locations in each operational district and can be mobilized as required.
OSCAR trailers are located strategically in each of our operational districts. These trailers contain various tools and spill response equipment ranging from absorbent materials and skimmers to booms and other cleanup tools specific to the area.
Inter Pipeline has a comprehensive Wildlife Emergency Response Program employing a multi-faceted approach; from specialized equipment to plans, hands-on testing/training, and GIS.
We have multiple levels of wildlife equipment strategically placed and stored along with our assets that range from basic to advanced. There are basic kits located at each of our district offices that can be quickly deployed to provide an initial level of deterrent to wildlife in the area. Larger trailers are stationed in strategic locations that carry an array of additional and specialized deterrents, traps, and fencing to prevent wildlife from entering a release location. Specialized equipment within the trailers would be installed to meet site-specific conditions. Some equipment can be deployed immediately and other techniques take more time and incredible labour and effort. Therefore, equipment is deployed in a systematic manner to ensure the most effective and efficient deployment to successfully deter targeted species.
To quickly assess the site for potential wildlife conflicts that will inform our equipment deployment strategy, Inter Pipeline has a GIS system with multiple environmental layers providing wildlife, wetland, water, vegetation, and other potential conflicts. We are also equipped with a Wildlife Emergency Response Plan and a program that works to continually expand on wildlife response capabilities.
Inter Pipeline owns and maintains a number of boats that range in size from 18’ to 24’. The boats are located in various operational areas to ensure response actions can be carried out in the areas where a spill could potentially impact water bodies.
We ensure emergency personnel responding to an incident have access to accurate product information.
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) provide workers and emergency responders with information on handling or working with controlled substances in a safe manner.
This includes information such as physical data, toxicity, health effects, first aid, reactivity, storage, disposal, protective equipment, and spill-handling procedures.