Line 9B Conditions

The Public Must Remain Vigilant To Ensure These Conditions Are Met.

Enbridge requested exemption from Section 47 of the NEB Act which requires a proponent to file a leave to open (LTO). A LTO is essentially a request to the Board for approval to ship oil once ALL conditions have been met. Below is a summary of major conditions set by the NEB, which Enbridge must meet prior to operating the pipeline as applied for in the application.

Condition 5

Enbridge must file a Commitments Tracking Table listing all commitments made by Enbridge in its Application or in its related submissions, or during the OH-002-2013 proceeding in relation to the project, including:

a)      The documentation in which reference to the commitment is made (for example: the application and subsequent filings; responses to information requests; the transcript reference; any permit, authorization or approval requirements; condition filings; or other)

b)      The accountability for implementing each commitment

c)       The timelines associated with the fulfillment of each commitment;

Enbridge must also update the status of the commitments in Condition 5a) on Enbridge’s website until such time that all commitments have been fulfilled, and advise the Board in writing of such updates where the status of any commitment has changed.

Note: It is important for every interested party to ensure any commitments that were made by Enbridge throughout the process are listed in the company’s Commitments Tracking Table.

Condition 6

Enbridge must file a project-specific Environmental Protection Plan (EPP) to describe all environmental protection procedures, mitigation and monitoring commitments, as set out in Enbridge’s Application or as otherwise agreed to in its related submissions and include maps of the environmental features within the Local Assessment Area (LAA) of each Project Site; and include a Project-specific Archaeological Resource Contingency plan.

NOTE: Local Assessment Area (LAA) is limited to the work at pumping stations and does not include the physical pipe. Therefore, Environmental Protection Plans and Archaeological Resource Contingency Plans will be limited to a very small portion of the potentially affected area.  

Condition 9

Enbridge shall file with the Board, at least 90 days prior to applying for leave to open (LTO), an Updated Pipeline Engineering Assessment (Updated EA) in a similar format to that of the Line 9B Engineering Assessment. The Updated EA OH-002-2013 133 shall be based on the in-line inspections (ILI) and excavations that Enbridge has performed on Line 9 in 2012 and 2013 from Sarnia Terminal to Montreal Terminal.

The Updated EA shall include, but not be limited to:

a) a remaining life analysis, taking into account coincident features, demonstrating that the pipeline between Sarnia Terminal and Montreal Terminal is fit-for-service in the reversed flow direction at Board approved maximum operating pressures (MOPs). If Enbridge chooses to apply different operating pressures for this analysis a justification must be provided;

b) a pipeline predicted Rupture Pressure Ratio analysis for integrity threats (including coincident threats) using 100% of the Specified Minimum Yield Strength as reference;

c) ILI tool performance, including their probability of detection and probability of sizing;

d) Field-tool unity plots for crack and corrosion, including for depth and length; and

e) Results of the 2012 annual survey of the cathodic protection system.

NOTE: This information should have been provided as part of the NEB hearing process. The Engineering Assessment Enbridge submitted as part of their Application to the Board was based on pipeline integrity data from 2004-2006. Enbridge had results of the 2012-2013 integrity dig details in January 2013 and said it would take a few months to analyze. Therefore, Enbridge should have submitted the updated integrity details to the NEB and participating parties when it was available in summer 2013. This would have ensured that the most recent pipeline integrity data was weighed as part of the hearing.

Condition 10

Based on the MOP and integrity status information used in the Updated EA, at least 30 days prior to applying for LTO, Enbridge shall:

a)      Repair all features in the pipeline sections between Sarnia Terminal and Montreal Terminal as identified by additional assessments and/or re-assessments to which Enbridge committed in the Application that meet CSA Z662-11 repair criteria, and all features with a safety factor less than 125% of the MOP, including the defects which triggered the current self-imposed pressure restrictions specified in Enbridge’s Line 9B Pipeline Engineering Assessment, regardless of existing operating pressure; and

b)      File with the Board a report that includes, but is not limited to, a list of features repaired, feature sizes, safety factors prior to repair, and repair date(s)

NOTE: Again, this requirement should have been part of the Line 9 hearing. Information requests were made concerning repairs made during various integrity digs. Enbridge denied to provide answers, expressing that the question was not relevant to the proposed project.

Condition 11

Enbridge shall file its hydrostatic pressure testing program, pursuant to section 23 of the National Energy Board Onshore Pipeline Regulations (OPR), at least 60 days prior to applying for LTO.

NOTE: This point only means that the company is required to file their hydrostatic testing program document, not that they are to conduct a hydrostatic test. A hydrostatic test would ensure that Line 9 is capable of safely operating at the pressure Enbridge wishes to operate it.

Condition 12

Enbridge shall file with the Board, at least 60 days prior to applying for LTO, the leak detection system (LDS) manual for the Project. The LDS manual must include, but not be limited to, the following:

a) senior management policy and commitment to leak detection;

b) the roles, responsibilities, and authorities of personnel in the event of a suspected leak;

c) the theory and rationale for each LDS design and application. Enbridge LDS design must meet or exceed the latest version of CSA Z662-11-Annex E for all class location designations along Line 9 from Sarnia Terminal to Montreal Terminal;

d) the methodology and instrument requirements;

e) performance indicators such as the accuracy, reliability, and sensitivity of the LDS;

f) leak alarms and diagnostic messaging as well as related procedures;

g) any information to be provided by the LDS to assist in operating the LDS and responding to any potential leak;

h) the estimated maximum amount of product released before a leak is detected;

i) the process to be followed with respect to the continuous improvement, non-conformity, audits and corrective protocols;

j) the procedures for LDS record keeping, training, and performance evaluation; and,

k) the plan for maintenance, testing methods (i.e., simulated signal, fluid withdrawal, etc.), and frequency of testing.

The LDS manual (regarding the Enbridge Control System, Control Center, operators and teams, procedures, alarms, Material balance calculations, column separation, etc.) must also demonstrate compliance with the relevant conclusions and outcomes of the Compliance Verification Report under the National Energy Board Act In the Matter of Enbridge Pipelines Inc. – Edmonton Control Room Inspection and Assessment (May 2013) and related Order SO-E101-003-2013

NOTE: Condition 12 (h) states that Enbridge must provide information about the estimated maximum amount of oil released before a leak is detected. How is ANY amount of oil released without being detected acceptable? Many communities along Line 9 rely on well water. Oil could leak and easily creep on to residential properties and contaminate wells due to these lax standards.

Condition 16

Enbridge shall file with the Board for approval, at least 90 days prior to applying for LTO, the results of its project to update the Line 9 mainline valves system from Sarnia Terminal to Montreal Terminal using Enbridge Intelligent Valve Placement (IVP) methodology. Through these results Enbridge shall:

a) demonstrate that the new Line 9 valves system meets or exceeds the requirements of CSA Z662-11clause 4.4 Valve location and spacing, with particular reference to clause 4.4.8, note (2);

b) demonstrate and explain why it believes that the maximum release volume between valves is as low as reasonably practicable, so as to prevent spill volumes that pose a significant risk to the public or the environment including, but not limited to, watercourses, water intakes, urban infrastructure, and ecologically sensitive areas. This assessment shall be based on the Watercourse Crossing Management Plan requested in Condition 18. It shall also address terrain profiles and flow conditions that could interact with the subject crossing in a manner that could present a risk to people or the environment at locations distant from the release;

c) provide explicit criteria and rationale for using 8 manually operated valves (MOV) on the pipeline, instead of remotely controlled valves, and describe how these MOVs are to be maintained, how access to them is to be assured (including during snowing periods), and for each valve provide an estimate of the maximum time to close the valve once an alarm is sounded;

d) describe the procedure to be used to verify the alarm before personnel are dispatched to manually close valves, including a description of any other measures that will be taken with respect to MOVs to reduce spill volumes in the event of a release, and the effect of these measures on the size of spill anticipated; and

e) explain if the use of these MOVs may negatively affect Enbridge’s leak control evaluation for the Project (i.e., Initial Volume out of 95.2 m3, total volume out, assessed incremental Project risk of 2.2%, etc.).

NOTE: No valves should be allowed to remain as Manually Operated Valves (MOV). No valve placement should allow for any significant amount of oil to be spilled between valves.  

Condition 24

Enbridge shall file with the Board, at least 30 days prior to LTO and every six months thereafter for the first three years of operation, an Ongoing Engagement Report for the continued operation of Line 9. The Ongoing Engagement Report will include, at minimum:

a) the persons or groups with whom Enbridge offered or sought to consult during the previous six month period;

b) the persons or groups actually consulted during the previous six month period;

c) confirmation that Enbridge consulted or offered to consult at least once each year with, at minimum, a representative of each Landowner, Municipality, Conservation Authority, and Aboriginal group whose land, jurisdiction or traditional territory is traversed by Line 9;

d) the methods, dates and locations of consultation activities;

e) the information that was distributed to persons or groups (for example, health, safety and environmental performance of Line 9); a summary of the comments and concerns expressed by potentially affected persons or groups;

g) a summary of the response made regarding each of the concerns or comments;

h) how outstanding concerns will be addressed;

i) how input from persons or groups has influenced the operation of the Project;

j) details regarding discussions with Aboriginal groups;

k) the details and results of the consultation undertaken with all persons who may be affected by any changes to the Project; and

l) details regarding discussions with municipal emergency responders.

Note: If you live in close proximity to Line 9, this condition mandates that you should know everything about Enbridge Line 9. Enbridge must have an effective Public Awareness Policy. If you live within 200m of the pipeline, the NEB has set this condition so that you are adequately consulted both now, and in the future. Actions speak louder than words. Time will tell!

Condition 28

Enbridge shall file with the Board for approval, within 18 months following the receipt of Board approval for LTO, an updated Deterministic Remaining Life evaluation for each segment (i.e., pump station to pump station) of Line 9 from the Sarnia Terminal and the Montreal Terminal. This assessment should take into account (but not be limited to) the results of the most recent ILI runs and excavations, coincident imperfections, the Board approved MOPs, and actual operating pressure cycling dataset for the most aggressive periods since the reversal.

Note: Again, this info should have been presented during the NEB hearing.

Overall Impression

This is a weak decision! Numerous concerns of intervenors were not adequately addressed, including lack of Enbridge insurance in the event of a spill. The City of Toronto and Ontario Ministry of Energy suggested $1 Billion. The Michigan Line 6B disaster had a population of 7000 and to date, the clean up has cost over $1 Billion. What would the cost of clean up be in Canada’s most populated city …?

In addition, requests for a full hydrostatic test were not fulfilled. Continued pressure will be required from communities along the line and participants of the NEB hearing in order to hold Enbridge completely accountable for the integrity of Line 9.

Enbridge will be filing for a Leave to Open (LTO) if they are able to meet all conditions as presented by the Board. Due diligence is required.

We Must Continue to Raise Awareness & Promote a Community Discussion. 

3 Responses to Line 9B Conditions

  1. margaret small says:

    Two points: Enbridge didn’t seem to want to do hydraulic testing for fear it might weaken the pipeline; isn’t that the point of high pressure water tests – to find the weaknesses??
    Also,might groups all along the pipeline develop a common chart to keep checking on these major conditions? They could send periodic reports to city councils, etc. Thanks, Margaret Small

    • Hi Margaret,

      These are both excellent points!

      As defined in the NEB Line 9 decision:

      Hydrotesting – Also referred to as “hydrostatic pressure testing” and is a way to test a pipeline for strength and leaks. The pipeline is filled
      and pressurized with water, for an amount of time and examined for leaks, ruptures or permanent changes in shape. Hydrotesting is intended to confirm the structural integrity of the piping, and is used as the basis for establishing its maximum operating pressure (set by the regulator)

      Note: Hydrotesting is a way to test the pipeline for strength and leaks. Given that the physical pipe was excluded from the project application, perhaps ordering a hydrotest fell out of the NEB’s scope.

      HOWEVER – The NEB did deny Enbridge the request for exemption from Section 47 of the NEB Act. Therefore, Enbridge will still need to file for a Leave to Open (LTO). An LTO essentially means that the NEB will have to rule whether they believe the pipeline is safe for operation. At this point, a hydrotest would be most certainly warranted!

      On your comment about conditions …

      This is a fantastic idea! In reading through the NEB decision, I have learned how important this Commitments Tracking Table will become. The Board imposed Conditions 2,3, and 5 which collectively require Enbridge to fulfil the commitments it made throughout the proceeding and to establish a Commitments Tracking Table. “Such commitments factored into the Board’s decision concerning the Project and the Board relied on them in instances where it may have otherwise imposed a condition” – NEB Line 9 Decision.

      Therefore, the Commitments Tracking Table essentially becomes a second list of conditions and it is ESSENTIAL that communities along Line 9 ensure they are being met. Keeping track and sending periodic reports to city councils, etc is a great idea!

      How can we move this forward?

  2. margaret small says:

    Perhaps use a common tracking table, send it to all communities along Line 9 and appoint 1 or more people from each community to keep the issue before councillors and report back to other communities. This would keep the issue in the public eye and let Enbridge know that affected communities are still working together.

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