Transportation Safety Board of Canada Regulations

Understanding the new TSB Regulations and how they affect your work in the pipeline industry

What's new in the new regulations? The Transportation Safety Board Regulations were changed for the first time since 1992, bringing them up-to-date with the current transportation industry and legislation. As of 12 March 2014, Part 2 of the Regulations came into effect. Part 1 comes into effect on 1 July 2014. This fact sheet highlights some important changes that may affect your work in the pipeline industry.

The new regulations make it easier for you to report pipeline occurrences without increasing costs or the administrative burden

What has changed?

The TSB has put in place new regulations that repeal and replace the previous version. The new regulations are simpler and better aligned with other federal legislation, industry standards and international agreements. This has changed some of what you must report to the TSB in the event of a transportation occurrence and how we investigate. In particular, the new regulations:

  • Make it easier to understand what needs to be reported;
  • Clarify basic rules pertaining to witness interviews; and
  • Bring certain definitions and terminologies up-to-date.

Who do the regulations apply to?

The new regulations apply to all pipelines occurrences in Canada within the legislative authority of Parliament (i.e. federally-regulated pipelines). They also apply to any occurrence outside Canada if the TSB is investigating.

Compliance with the new regulations is mandatory. Companies that don't comply can be held accountable under the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act.

Effective 12 March 2014 – TSB Regulations, Part 2

Witness interviews

TSB investigators interview witnesses for the sole purpose of advancing transportation safety. The interviews are confidential and protected under our Act. To help ensure witnesses feel comfortable and speak openly, the new regulations specify that:

  • Interviews are held in private.
  • Interviews must be recorded.
  • Witnesses may choose one representative to accompany them during an interview as long as this person is not also a witness.
  • TSB investigators may exclude a witness' representative from the interview if their actions or behaviour interfere with the interview.
  • Witnesses may request in writing a copy of the interview records.

Effective 1 July, 2014 –TSB Regulations, Part 1


Definitions have been brought up-to-date with terminology used in other federal acts and regulations, industry standards, and international agreements. Here are some definitions that may affect what you report to the TSB:

Definitions that may affect what you report to the TSB
Term Definition Change
HVP High vapour pressure, as defined in CSA Z662 New
LVP Low vapour pressure, as defined in CSA Z662 New
Operator The company that operates the pipeline or portion of the pipeline Clarified
Safety zone Area extending 30 metres perpendicularly from the center of a pipeline on either side of the pipeline New

Note: The term "pipeline" is defined in the Canadian Transportation Accident Investigation and Safety Board Act and means a pipeline that is used for the transportation of commodities and includes all branches, extensions, pumps, racks, compressors, loading facilities, storage facilities, reservoirs, tanks, preparation plants, separation plants, interstation systems of communication and property and works connected therewith.

Reporting requirements

Who is required to report a pipeline occurrence?

The operator of the pipeline must report a pipeline occurrence.

What occurrences are you required to report?

You must report the following occurrences if they directly result from the operation of a pipeline:

  • A person is killed or sustains a serious injury.
  • The safe operation of the pipeline is affected by a fire, explosion, or the pipeline being contacted with another object.
  • An event or an operational malfunction results in:
    • An unintended or uncontained release of LVP hydrocarbons in excess of 1.5 m3, or
    • An unintended or uncontrolled release of gas, HVP hydrocarbons or any other commodity.
  • A commodity is released from the line pipe body.
  • The pipeline is operated beyond design limits or any operating restrictions imposed by the National Energy Board.
  • The pipeline restricts the safe operation of any mode of transportation.
  • An unauthorized third party activity within the safety zone poses a threat to the safe operation of the pipeline.
  • The operation of a portion of the pipeline is interrupted as a result of a situation or condition that poses a threat to any person, property or the environment.
  • A geotechnical, hydraulic or environmental activity poses a threat to the safe operation of the pipeline.
  • There is an unintended fire or explosion that poses a threat to any person, property or the environment.

What are you no longer required to report?

  • Small volumes of uncontained and uncontrolled releases of LVP hydrocarbons (unless they originate from the line pipe body).

What information are you required to provide?

Your reports to the TSB must include:

  • The name of the operator.
  • The date and time of the occurrence.
  • The pipeline’s unique identifier, such as its name or number.
  • The specific pipeline components that malfunctioned or failed.
  • The location of the occurrence by reference to the operator’s facility or the pipeline’s kilometre post location.
  • The closest city, town or village to the occurrence site.
  • The number of persons who were killed or sustained serious injuries as a result of the occurrence.
  • A list of any commodity contained in or released from the pipeline (including the volume of commodity released and recovered).
  • The duration of any interruption of the operation of the pipeline.
  • A description of the occurrence, the events leading up to it and the extent of any damage, including the consequences on the pipeline or portion of the pipeline and on any other property and the environment.
  • A description of any action taken or planned to address the consequences of the occurrence, and to protect people, property and the environment, including any evacuation.
  • The name, title and contact information of the person making the report.

For more information

For more information about reporting a pipeline occurrence, please visit our Report an occurrence webpage. You can also consult the following documents:

If you have specific questions about the new regulations, please contact