Topics of Importance Emergency Preparedness & Response

Management Approach


When we experience an incident, we activate our emergency response procedures, which include shutting down and isolating the impacted asset, notifying the appropriate government and regulatory agencies, and managing potential safety and environmental impacts.

In responding to spills and leaks of liquid products, our Liquids Pipelines (LP) business segment takes the following steps:

  • ensure the safety of the public, employees and contractors, and first responders,
  • enter into unified command with other emergency responders and agencies,
  • contain, recover and safely remove the product and take care to protect the surrounding environment,
  • work closely with experts to minimize impacts on wildlife,
  • recover a high percentage of the product,
  • dispose of contaminated water, soil and vegetation at waste disposal facilities,
  • establish what needs to be remediated, based on a comprehensive cleanup plan, environmental testing and monitoring, physical inspection, and guidance from government regulators,
  • develop and execute rehabilitation plans for water, soil and vegetation with the input of regulators and affected stakeholders, and
  • implement corrective actions and apply lessons learned to our wider system, and share learnings internally and with industry.

In the event of a natural gas emergency, our Gas Distribution and Gas Pipelines, Processing & Energy Services business segments, GD and GPP&ES, respectively, typically take the following steps:

  • identify the location of the leak,
  • ensure the safety of the public, employees and the environment,
  • engage in unified command with other first responders,
  • isolate the leak,
  • repair the problem and verify that the repair has corrected it,
  • remediate the site, and
  • apply lessons learned, and share learnings internally and with industry.

Our Green Power, Transmission and Emerging Technology group (GPT&ET) follows different steps because their projects have different emergency exposures from our pipeline assets. In that area, our most significant emergency exposure would involve worker injuries in a solar or wind facility. In an emergency situation, GPT&ET would take the following steps:

  • ensure the safety of the public, employees and contractors,
  • engage in unified command with other first responders,
  • rescue and remove the injured worker from the facility, and
  • apply lessons learned, and share learnings internally and with industry.

Each business segment is prepared to respond to incidents. However, if the capacity of the business segment or region is exceeded or they need additional support, the Enbridge Enterprise Emergency Response Team and the Enbridge crisis management team are available to provide support.

Maintaining Effective Emergency Preparedness

Our people, management systems, planning, investments in equipment and training, and public awareness programs help us maintain effective emergency preparedness programs.


We have dedicated individuals to support our emergency preparedness and response and crisis management systems across our company. In each business segment, senior leaders are responsible for overseeing emergency response programs and plans, and ensuring that our various operations are prepared for potential incidents. We also have hundreds of people across our systems, including pipeline maintenance crews and equipment technicians, who are trained to respond at any time.

Management Systems

Our approach to emergency preparedness and response is supported by our use of management systems that set out policy expectations, outline roles and responsibilities, and provide operating guidelines on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies. In 2015, LP implemented a dedicated Emergency Management System.


We have comprehensive emergency response action plans in place to help us respond rapidly anywhere in the company, should an incident occur. We review and update these plans annually. In 2015, LP completed a full update of its emergency plans in Canada to the Integrated Contingency Plan standard, aligning all response plans across its system in Canada and the U.S.

We have established a multi-tiered system that enables us to address varying levels of emergencies in our pipeline assets. We have also defined roles and responsibilities for those who would be involved, including:

  • field response teams,
  • regional incident management teams,
  • incident support teams,
  • Enbridge Enterprise Emergency Response Team, and
  • enterprise crisis management team.

If an incident were to escalate, the enterprise crisis management team, which consists of senior executives from across the company, would work closely with the business segment to provide strategic support to reduce the impact of the crisis.

Each of our business segments has detailed emergency preparedness and response plans in place to guide our emergency response, minimize the impact of an incident and comply with regulatory requirements. We also strategically locate emergency response equipment across our systems for quick deployment, and ensure that standby personnel, including employees, contractors and response organizations, are available.

Our emergency plans are customized for different operations.  In our GPT&ET group, for example, we work closely with contract service providers and local first responders to carry out emergency response at our wind and solar facilities.

Investments in Equipment and Training

Each year we invest in emergency response equipment, and train our employees and contractors throughout Canada and the U.S. The training involves staging hundreds of emergency response exercises, including equipment deployments, to test and refine our response plans.  Often this training includes third-party observers and participants such as regulators, public officials and first response agencies so that our emergency preparedness is transparent and well coordinated.

Public Awareness Programs

Our commitment to emergency preparedness and response also includes our work to ensure that our neighbors are aware of our operations, and how to live and work safely near them. Through our Public Awareness Programs, we educate landowners, residents, businesses, farmers, excavators, public officials and first responders on how to recognize and report incidents, and instruct them on how to stay safe if an incident occurs. 

Stakeholder Groups

Community Neighbors

Our public awareness outreach includes community neighbors (residents, landowners and business owners), local public officials, excavators, farmers, schools and anyone else who may work or live near our operations. In each case, we work with our neighbors and communities to ensure they are aware of our systems and what they should— and should not—do in the event of an emergency.

First Response Agencies

Maintaining strong relationships with emergency responders in the areas we operate is a priority for us. We meet regularly with first responders—including 9-1-1, police and fire departments—to share our emergency response procedures, and identify the roles and responsibilities of external responders who would support us in the event of an incident.

Through our meetings, we also encourage applications to our Safe Community program, which is one of our flagship community investment programs. For more information, please see the Community Investment section of this report.  

And, we promote our Emergency Responder Education Program (EREP), which offers free, unlimited online training to first responders near our pipeline corridors.  In Canada and the U.S., LP and GPP&ES maintain a password-protected website that provides emergency responders with access to specific emergency response plans for their area.

Industry and Emergency Response Associations

We actively participate in industry associations focused on advancing emergency preparedness and foster relationships with organizations that are connected to key emergency response audiences. For example, we have partnered with the U.S. National Association of State Fire Marshals to develop a free online training program for first responders near our pipeline systems. We also have worked with the National Emergency Number Association to develop online training specific to 9-1-1 dispatchers and call-takers. In addition, GD partners with the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council on education campaigns to promote public awareness of fire and home safety, including carbon monoxide detection and prevention.