Compliance Verification Activity Report: CV2021-518 - NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.

Overview

Compliance verification activity type: Field Inspection

Activity #: CV2021-518
Start date: 2021-03-10
End date: 2021-03-10

Team:

Regulated company: NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.

Operating company: NOVA Gas Transmission Ltd.

Province(s) / Territory(s):

Discipline(s):

Related events:

Rationale and scope:

Safety and Damage Prevention field inspection of the Burton Creek Compressor Station in MD of Ranchland. Inspection scope to include review of company’s internal investigation of near-misses and incidents and implementation of safe excavation procedures.

Compliance tool(s) used:

Facility details

Facilities:

Regulatory requirements

Regulatory requirements that apply to this activity:

Observations (no outstanding follow-up required)

Observation 1 - General Observations

Date & time of visit: 2021-03-10 11:00

Discipline: Safety Management

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Orientations:

Documents reviewed included: 
Field Inspection: 

Compliance tool used: No compliance tool used

Observation 2 - CNC 1 - Site Protection for Excavated Work Space

Date & time of visit: 2021-03-10 13:00

Discipline: Safety Management

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Several small diameter excavations were observed to be covered by plywood but not delineated by rope or tape. 
 

Compliance tool used: Corrected Non-compliance (CNC)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

Due to the close proximity of the individual excavations, the entire work area was marked off as per the TC Energy Excavation Procedure within a secure area (compressor station).

Due date: 2021-03-10

Date closed: 2021-03-19
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 3 - IR 1 - Hazard Reporting Program

Discipline: Safety Management

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

When requested, site management was unable to produce any examples of a hazard report and unable to describe any hazard reporting program that includes contractors conducting construction activities on a TC Energy worksite. 

 

 

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

Information Request:

  • Explain how TC Energy is proactively addressing hazards identified through the course of construction at the Burton Creek Compressor Station worksite. Include in your response how TC Energy is meeting each of the requirements referenced in this observation.  

Due date: 2021-04-14

Date closed: 2021-05-03
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 4 - IR 2 - Engineering Assessment of Damaged Pipe

Discipline: Damage Prevention

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Regarding INC 2021-039, IO's requested evidence of a completed engineering assessment to determine if the damaged pipe may be susceptible to failures and whether such portions are suitable for continued service. 

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

Provide evidence of a completed engineering assessment to determine if the damaged pipe may be susceptible to failures and whether such portions are suitable for continued service.

Due date: 2021-04-14

Date closed: 2021-05-03
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 5 - IR 3 - Excavation Procedure Within Fenced Facility

Discipline: Damage Prevention

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Active construction was underway during the field inspection and many holes had been dug by a 2nd party contractor in proximity to existing lines and locate markings (by hydrovac and/or auger drill). TC representatives explained that, according to its excavation procedure, slit trenching and the pilot holes methods can be used for excavation work taking place within fenced facilities such as a compressor station. It was unclear why this ground disturbance work performed by a 2nd party contractor in this case and in proximity to live lines did not require that the lines be daylighted or hand-exposed prior to mechanical excavation (e.g. auger drill) as outlined in the Damage Prevention Regulations - Authorizations paragraph 10(3)(c).
 


 

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

Please explain how TC Energy Excavation Procedure is meeting the DPR requirements referenced in this observation for ground disturbance work within fenced facilities.  

Due date: 2021-04-14

Date closed: 2021-05-31
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 6 - IR 4 - Reporting of Underground Discoveries

Discipline: Damage Prevention

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Site management explained that discoveries of unknown or legacy underground lines and cables are reported to the project management team daily and that project maps and drawings are red-lined and updated accordingly. An example of a red-lined version for this project was not readily available at the time of the inspection.

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

a) Provide a record of a daily report provided to the project management team following the discovery of an underground live line, cable and/or utility at the Burton Creek Compressor Station for the current project.
b) Also provide a copy of the associated updated red-lined version of maps/drawings provided to the construction team as a result.

Due date: 2021-04-14

Date closed: 2021-04-26
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 7 - NNC 1 - Excavation Procedure Within Fenced Facility

Date & time of visit: 2021-04-26 08:00

Discipline: Damage Prevention

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Active construction was underway during the field inspection and many holes had been dug by a 2nd party contractor in proximity to existing lines and locate markings (by hydrovac and/or auger drill). TC representatives explained that, according to its excavation procedure, slit trenching and the pilot holes methods can be used for excavation work taking place within fenced facilities such as a compressor station. It was unclear why this ground disturbance work performed by a 2nd party contractor in this case and in proximity to live lines did not require that the lines be daylighted or hand-exposed prior to mechanical excavation (e.g. auger drill) as outlined in the Damage Prevention Regulations - Authorizations paragraph 10(3)(c).

TC Energy first indicated in its response to IR 3 that in circumstances when work is occuring under TCPL's care and control, that this context is distinguishable from the aim and purpose of section 10 of the CER DPR-Authorizations. In response, the IOs are reminding TC Energy that section 10 of the CER DPR-Authorizations applies to work performed by any "person", which can include a 2nd party contractor hired by the pipeline company, regardless of other measures put in place such as direct pipeline company supervision. 

TC Energy also explained in its response to IR 3 that its excavation procedure prescribes a 5-metre buffer for mechanical ground disturbance near a buried facility such as a live line within fenced facilities (e.g., compressor station), where it is mandatory to daylight the buried facility via non-mechanical method such as hand digging or hydro-vacing (through slit trenching or pilot holing). TC Energy added that the use of any soft excavation method as prescribed by its excavation procedure operates with the aim of confirming the absence as opposed to the presence of buried utilities to an appropriate depth prior to initiating mechanical excavation (e.g., auger drill). 

Based on the IR response and field observations, the IOs have determined that confirming the absence as opposed to the presence of a pipe for excavation within 5 metres of a pipe is a non-compliance to the DPR-A paragraph 10(3(c). The regulations prescribe that the pipe's exact location (which includes depth and alignment) be confirmed prior to any person (e.g., 2nd party contractor) undertaking mechanical excavation within 3 metres of a pipe. As such, to be in compliance with this paragraph, positive confirmation is required using any method that would permit the pipeline company to make such confirmation.

Compliance tool used: Notice of Non-compliance (NNC)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

TC Energy is requested to develop corrective actions to address the deficiencies noted in this observation as it relates to any person (including 2nd party contractors) conducting mechanical excavation within 3 metres of a pipe within fenced facilities (such as a compressor station) and the requirement to confirm a pipe's exact location (including depth and alignment) prior to such mechanical excavation.

Due date: 2021-05-13

Date closed: 2021-05-31
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 8 - IR 5 - Hazard, Incident and Near-Miss Reporting

Discipline: Safety Management

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Site management were unable to produce any hazard, near-miss or incident report resulting from construction activity or describe a reporting program when asked.

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

Describe how TC Energy is meeting the cited section of the OPR with respect to construction activity at the project level.

Due date: 2021-05-19

Date closed: 2021-05-31
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observations (company follow-up required)

Identified non-compliances to company plans or procedures are non-compliances either to:

- the condition of an authorization document that requires the implementation of that plan or procedure; or

- the relevant section of the regulations that requires implementation of that plan or procedure including those sections that require implementation of plans or procedures as a part of a Program