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Safety is our number one value

Our goal is for our pipeline and energy facilities to operate safely every day so that the public, our workforce and the environment aren’t affected by an incident involving our assets. Safety is, and always will be, our number one value.

Prepared for anything

With a goal of zero safety incidents at hundreds of facilities in three countries, staying prepared takes teamwork, co-ordination and an effective response plan. As part of that plan, in 2020 we conducted 170 emergency management program exercises across our entire network. These simulations allowed our own personnel to work with local first-responders to hone our skills and develop communications protocols in the unlikely event of a serious incident.

These exercises play a key role in developing strong relationships within our communities while helping us both to gain an understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.

Learn more in our latest Report on Sustainability

case-study-icon.png Case study: Investing in emergency responders

We learned a lot from TC Energy’s professionalism and the way they conduct their exercises. [They’re] always a big factor in our control group meetings. Every time we have a meeting or emergency exercise in the town of Kapuskasing, they’re a very good contributing partner – for their expertise and resources.”

Gerry Demeules
Fire Chief, Kapuskasing, Ontario Kapuskasing’s Fire Chief, Gerry Demeules, Talks about Collaborating with TC Energy

Safety protocols for emergency responders

Are you an emergency responder? Download these important guides for more on safety protocols for our operations.


Emergency response plans

We believe every incident is preventable and continuously strive toward our goal of realizing zero safety incidents. While incidents are rare, being prepared to respond safely and rapidly is something we train for year-round.

Our priorities are always the safety of the public, landowners, first responders, employees and contractors and the environment. Our robust emergency response plans are focused on quickly and effectively responding to emergencies, mitigating any impacts that may have occurred to public safety, property or the environment in a timely manner.

Although we consult emergency services during the development of our Emergency Response Plans, we also encourage communities to review these documents if they are interested in better understanding the TC Energy Emergency Management Program.

Request a Plan

Emergency preparedness external resources

Emergency response guide

Across North America, we work with emergency responders in the communities we do business in to help in case of an emergency.


Regional town hall safety meetings

Host a safety town hall meeting in conjunction with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, TC Energy and industry representatives. Email the IAFC for more information.


NASFM – Pipeline emergency response training

Access online training on pipeline emergency response through the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ emergency responders’ portal.


IAFC – Pipeline emergency response training

Self-paced, online emergency response training is available through the International Association of Fire Chiefs.


NENA – National Emergency Number Association

The only professional organization solely focused on 9-1-1 policy, technology, operations, and education issues.


Pipeline Operators Safety Partnership (POSP)

The POSP is committed to building partnerships between pipeline operators and emergency responders.



Our ongoing Planned Maintenance and Pipeline Integrity Management programs include regular maintenance, routine aerial patrols, ground surveys, cathodic protection against corrosion, monitoring by trained operators 24 hours a day and internal inspections using devices like Smart Pigs.

Every year, we spend hundreds of millions on integrity and preventative maintenance programs to ensure the safe, reliable operations of our systems.

We monitor our pipeline system through centralized high-tech Control Centres, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our Control Centres have highly specialized staff that run our liquids and gas pipeline networks and ensure the systems are operating as they are designed to.

As an additional precaution, our oil control centre has a leak detection specialist who is fully dedicated to looking for signs of a leak or an issue with how the pipeline is operating.

Control Centres monitor pipelines 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to ensure they run safely and efficiently. The control centres include an operational control system, a leak detection system and a satellite communication network.

Our state-of-the-art Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems and our specialized oil leak detection systems, along with elevated safety features and specialized staff training employed on our oil and gas pipelines make us confident leaks can be quickly identified and responded to. These features include:

  • Technology capable of isolating sections of our pipeline and then remotely closing the required valves on the systems within minutes from our Control Centres.
  • Around-the-clock monitoring of pipeline operations by highly trained staff that are expected to shut down the pipeline at the first sign of a problem until the cause of the alarm is determined.
  • A highly automated system of pipelines that includes thousands of data sensors and emergency shut-off valves to effectively minimize the amount to product released.
  • Real time information on pipeline operating conditions that is transmitted via satellite every few seconds from thousands of data points to our operations Control Centres.
  • An essential requirement that all possible problems be investigated immediately by pipeline controllers and on-the-ground field staff. After a pipeline is shut down in order to investigate an anomaly, that pipeline cannot be re-started until the cause has been identified and the operations personnel have confirmed it is safe to do so.

We would respond immediately by shutting down and isolating the pipeline systems and/or shutting down the pump or compressor stations and dispatching emergency response personnel. The main focus of the initial response would be to stop operating the pump or compressor units in order to reduce the flow through that particular segment of pipe and then close isolation valves in the vicinity of the leak to limit its impact.

In the very unlikely event that a leak occurs, our company would take full responsibility for the emergency response and cleanup for as long as we own and operate the pipeline.

We create Emergency Response Plans for every pipeline and project in our system. These plans must be in place before the pipeline ever goes into operation. While plans may vary depending on project and community needs, the basic elements of a plan will include hazard identification, notifications and response tactics to ensure TC Energy personnel are able to effectively respond in the event of an emergency.

All our Emergency Response Plans are developed through a detailed and comprehensive program specific to the project and communities in which we operate. This includes gathering necessary and important feedback from local communities and emergency responders during the planning stages.

We have emergency response personnel on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These emergency responders consist of employees and contract personnel who specialize in emergency response. The local police and fire departments may be involved to protect the public and ensure our personnel are able to work safely.

Yes, our company provides awareness training about responding to a pipeline incident. We view the communities we operate in as emergency response partners. We work collaboratively with these stakeholders on a continuous basis, inviting them to participate in exercises and training. TC Energy does not expect volunteer or dedicated local fire departments to have the equipment or specific experience needed to respond to a leak or rupture.

In all circumstances, we take full responsibility for emergency response and cleanup for any of the pipelines that we own and operate.