Emergency management: Key public safety information

Enbridge has programs in place to inform the public, residents, landowners, first responders, municipalities, Indigenous communities and provincial, state and federal agencies about our operations and how to recognize and respond to emergencies. As part of our public awareness programs, Enbridge maintains current contact information5 for residents and businesses near our infrastructure. Our emergency response plans and associated documents provide notification procedures and contact information for first responders, municipalities, Indigenous communities and federal, provincial and state agencies, as required. Our first priority is always safety, so Enbridge will alert local emergency services of an event if they are not already aware. The public may be notified in emergency situations by local emergency responders or directly by Enbridge.

The public can notify Enbridge of an issue by calling the appropriate toll-free, 24-hour emergency numbers, which can be found here, on the tile directly below, in our public awareness materials, and on our rights-of-way, processing facilities and pipeline markers.

Enbridge’s public awareness programs are designed to educate key stakeholders who live and work near our pipelines and facilities about the presence of pipelines and facilities in their communities as well as provide important information related to the products we process and transport, pipeline and facility safety and emergency awareness and response. We provide more detailed information on the products we process or transport to first responders so that in an emergency, they will be able to quickly identify how to respond.

The products in our pipes

Enbridge processes and transports energy in multiple forms, including gas and liquids. General safety information regarding specific products that Enbridge processes and transports is available in safety data sheets which are included in our emergency response plans and supporting documents. The basic product information and general hazards associated with the products are outlined in the table below.

Basic Product Information




Special Behavior


Natural Gas

Colorless gas

No odour in natural state; however, most distribution system lines add odorant (rotten egg smell)

Low density and lighter than air
In an open area, it rises into the atmosphere and dissipates
In an enclosed area, it collects first overhead

Extremely flammable and explosive under certain conditions
Suffocation can occur if vapors displace the oxygen in an enclosed area

Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs)*

Steam-like cloud or frost-like appearance on the ground

Similar to gasoline, but much stronger and extremely unpleasant

Heavier than air
Stays close to the ground in low-lying areas

Flammable and explosive
Suffocation can occur if vapors displace the oxygen in an enclosed area

Sour Gas (Gas containing hydrogen sulfide)

Colorless gas

Similar to rotten eggs

Is lighter than air and is buoyant until high concentrations of hydrogen sulfide are present (greater than 20%), then becomes slightly heavier than air

Flammable and explosive
Paralyzes the sense of smell

Crude Oil*
All Types

Color ranges from yellow to black

Similar to gasoline or diesel fuel

Flows with the profile of the land
Flow depends on temperature and viscosity; can be thick and slow-moving or light and able to move quickly

Flammable and explosive under certain conditions
Suffocation can occur if vapors displace the oxygen in an enclosed area


Clear to black liquid

Extremely strong odor similar to crude oil

Very light and fluid, similar to gasoline

Flammable and explosive under certain conditions
Suffocation can occur if vapors displace the oxygen in an enclosed area


Clear to dark brown

Similar to gasoline or diesel fuel

Very light and fluid, similar to gasoline

Flammable and explosive under certain conditions

* Many compounds of crude oil, natural gas liquids, diluents and condensate are volatile and toxic and may enter the human body through inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption to cause irritation, dizziness, headache or even loss of consciousness. Benzene levels in condensate vary greatly and prolonged and repeated exposure to certain levels may cause severe health effects.

Outreach in an emergency

In the event of an emergency, Enbridge is committed to communicating with all impacted stakeholders. Depending on the circumstances of the emergency, Enbridge may utilize multiple communication platforms to share timely information, which may include:

  • Direct communication with affected individuals and businesses;
  • Incident website;
  • News releases;
  • Social media outreach; and
  • Hotlines.

For their safety, when circumstances warrant, Enbridge’s emergency responders are equipped with personal gas monitors. In addition, Enbridge may work with local first responders and contractors to set up community air monitoring during an incident to ensure public safety.

Protecting the environment in the areas where we operate is a priority for Enbridge. A critical part of that commitment is safeguarding water supplies. This is factored into the full lifecycle of our infrastructure projects. At the front end of the lifecycle, these safeguards include:

  • route selection and identification of high consequence areas, such as drinking water intakes, densely populated areas, and/or ecological resources that may be sensitive to environmental damage;
  • pipeline design and construction methods consistent with industry standards and best practices;
  • use of quality materials;
  • adherence to strict product requirements;
  • adherence to a comprehensive maintenance, inspection and operating program that includes regular internal inspection; and
  • 24-hour monitoring and leak detection capabilities.

If a release is detected or reported, we can promptly shut down and isolate the affected pipeline section or facilities and rapidly dispatch a trained response team, including environmental crews who have an understanding of the products we process and transport. Under the oversight of provincial/state and federal agencies, Enbridge is committed to cleaning and restoring areas affected by a release to limit any long-term impacts to landowners or the environment. If a drinking water source is impacted, Enbridge would make arrangements to secure an alternative source of water supply until the issue is remedied.

Actions to take in the event of an emergency

The full picture: Our emergency management programs

Find out more about the various aspects of Enbridge's emergency management programs, including:


5 Contact information may include addresses, phone numbers, and/or names.