Fact Sheet: Landowner Participation, Compensation & Dispute Resolution

General:

  • The National Energy Board is Canada’s federal pipeline regulator. It holds pipeline companies accountable for building and maintaining pipelines in a way that is safe and protects the environment.
  • The NEB regulates approximately 73,000 kilometers of pipeline, affecting many thousands of landowners.
  • The NEB’s goal is to make sure the rights and interests of landowners along NEB-regulated pipelines are respected.
  • Landowner involvement is an important part of each phase in the lifecycle of a project.
  • The Board encourages open and respectful discussion between project proponents and persons and groups potentially affected by NEB regulated projects and facilities.
  • The NEB expects companies to start consulting and building relationships with landowners at the planning stage of a project and continue this relationship through until a pipeline or facility is no longer in use.
  • The NEB has produced a guide to help landowners get answers to questions around how a pipeline may affect them or the communities in which they live that can be found on our website or by contacting the NEBdirectly.

Landowner Participation:

  • The NEB requires regulated companies to communicate with and involve landowners when they are developing projects. 
  • The level of landowner engagement should be appropriate for the setting, nature and magnitude of each project.
  • During a project application, the NEB encourages directly affected landowners to become involved by applying to participate in the hearing either as a commentor or as an intervenor.
  • The NEB has created Templates for Public Participation to help landowners organize the information required for processes that directly involve them such as applying to participate in a hearing process, opposing a detailed pipeline route, objecting to a right-of-entry request by the company, or filing a complaint with the NEB.
  • The NEB employs individuals called Process Advisors, who are specifically trained to help the public understand the application process and how to participate in a hearing.

Pipeline Operation:

  • The NEB is available to landowners throughout the entire lifecycle of a pipeline, should any issues or concerns arise.
  • The NEB expects zero incidents from its regulated companies.  Much of what we do through our regulatory oversight is aimed at preventing incidents from happening in the first place. 
  • Our safety programs are designed to make sure companies are effective in managing safety and environmental protection throughout the entire lifecycle of a pipeline - from design to construction, operation and through to abandonment.
  • Companies are required to monitor their pipelines and pipeline right-of-ways on a regular basis.
  • Monitoring typically includes the use of a 24 hour remote monitoring systems, regular right of way patrols such as flying or driving along the pipeline, in-line inspections and, where required, investigative digs to visually confirm the safety of the pipeline.
  • Companies often access the pipeline through the right-of-way, but at times are required to obtain access through a landowner’s property.
  • The NEB requires companies to minimize the disturbance to landowner’s property and to compensate them for any damages that may occur.
  • The NEB holds companies fully responsible and accountable for full remediation of any effects that may occur as a result of their pipeline operations or maintenance activities.
  • Companies are required to meet all of the Board’s required environmental remediation criteria regardless of cost.
  • Should a company not meet NEB requirements, the Board can and will take action including, but not limited to, conducting investigations, hiring third party contractors to assess specific concerns, and issuing safety or environmental orders.
  • The NEB encourages landowners and pipeline companies to communicate openly and cooperate with respect to reasonable access to land for surveying.

Compensation:

  • The NEB does not have jurisdiction over compensation for land use or damages associated with pipeline construction or maintenance.
  • Agreements for compensation and land use are individually negotiated between the landowner and the pipeline company and must comply with Section 86 of the National Energy Board Act.
  • If a NEB-regulated company causes damage as a result of a construction operation or maintenance activities, the company is required to compensate the landowner.
  • Generally, companies and landowners come to terms regarding the timing of maintenance activities, access to the right-of-way, and reclamation outcomes.
  • When a landowner and a pipeline company can’t agree on compensation for lands that the company plans to acquire, has acquired or has damaged, the landowner may apply to the Minister of Natural Resources Canada (Minister) to receive the services of a negotiator, or to have the dispute settled by arbitration.

Dispute Resolution Services:

  • The Board has fully trained and neutral Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) [PDF 1033 KB] professionals that are available to work with landowners to provide negotiation, facilitation, mediation and referral options to help resolve disagreements with NEB-regulated companies.
  • ADR can complement other regulatory processes and, if there is no agreement, parties may continue to proceed through more formal regulatory processes.
  • In order for the NEB to get involved in a landowner concern, a formal complaint from the landowner must be received by the NEB in writing. The company will then be contacted for follow-up.
  • Should the ADR process not allow landowners to address their concerns, they will still be able to participate in available NEB and NRCan processes.

Landowner Complaint Process

Text description of this graphic

Landowner Complaint Process

Complain may be resolved at any stage in the process

  • NEB receives Complailnt Informally
  • NEB determines if Complaint is under its jurisdiction
  • Complaint formally submitted (in writing)
  • Tools to Settle Dispute
    • Informal - ADR - site visit
    • Formal - condition compliance - inspections
  • Board Determination - formal Decision or other recommendation
  • Complaint Resolved
Date modified: