We recognize that protecting our natural resources, enhancing biodiversity and supporting conservation are key to a sustainable environment, and we integrate these concepts into our business decision-making and daily operations.
In executing projects, we use leading construction practices and we are committed to identifying, mitigating and proactively managing any potential negative impacts to the environment. Enbridge has a long history of environmental stewardship, underpinned by adherence to established and evolving regulatory processes, as well as our own corporate policies and procedures. Spectra Energy brought a similar history and approach and our ongoing integration work, initiated in the first quarter of 2017, includes the review and harmonization of the two companies’ respective environmental management frameworks to ensure a consistent approach in planning, constructing and operating our vast network of energy delivery infrastructure.
4 performance objectives:
The governance of environmental risks and performance is guided by our Enterprise Risk Management Framework and our Safety Management System Framework. These two frameworks provide the tools, techniques and accountabilities for compliance and performance that our business segments use to effectively manage all of their risks and obligations for safeguarding people, property and the environment. Post our 2017 consolidation with Spectra Energy we also began development of an enterprise-wide management framework for environmental protection as one of the six mandatory pillars that provide the foundation for our Safety Management System. In addition, each of our business segments have their own Integrated Management System (IMS) and Environmental Protection Programs (EPP) that are custom designed to respond to the different requirements and complexities of their specific operations. The development and implementation of these frameworks is informed by industry-leading protocols, including, but not limited to, ISO 14001.
It is critically important for us that we protect and conserve environmentally sensitive areas and areas of high biodiversity, and that we prioritize these activities in our project planning, construction and operations.Our approach includes working with local and Indigenous communities and other stakeholders, as well as investing in projects and initiatives that promote environmental values and priorities that are important to and create benefits for the communities in which we operate.
We implement a variety of activities to preserve biodiversity. Some of these are related to regulatory requirements and others are voluntary. Before proposing pipeline routes and determining facility locations, we:
During facility and pipeline construction, we take care to limit our operational footprint and actively manage potential effects on the environment through a variety of measures, including:
Once pipelines and facilities are in place, we work to maintain the pipeline right-of-way in a manner that balances safety requirements and environmental sensitivities.
Land Stewardship: We have robust operating practices that go beyond the construction phase of our projects. We mitigate our impact by restoring pipeline rights-of-way and implementing the recommendations included in our impact assessments and made by permitting agencies. For example, we:
When managing vegetation at our facilities and on our pipeline rights-of-way, we use the most appropriate methods of keeping them clear for pipeline integrity and safety inspections. We design our weed control and revegetation activities to minimize the encroachment of invasive species, mitigate erosion issues and enhance biodiversity. In conducting this work, we take into account the visible results and perceived impacts on landowners and communities.
Our Canadian Gas Transmission and Midstream group is currently classifying all watercourses along its transmission system in British Columbia covering a vast area—from Fort Nelson in the northeastern corner of the province all the way to Abbotsford in the southwest near the Canada-U.S. border.
The project includes the assessment of thousands of sites and involves working in tandem with our capital projects, operations and maintenance groups. We are implementing assessment efforts in areas where we are forecasting pipeline activity in the near future so that watercourse information is available to facilitate environmental permitting processes. We are integrating the data into existing and planned geographical information systems and making the data available to operations groups, environmental specialists, community advisors and emergency planners.
The project is currently entering its third year, and we expect the entire assessment will take a number of additional years to complete. Once gathered, the data will remain accurate indefinitely in the absence of channel-altering flood events.
Sensitive Habitats and Species at Risk: All of our business segments comply with federal, provincial and state requirements. In Canada, these requirements include the federal Species at Risk Act, which aims to protect flora and fauna and conserve biological diversity. Various strategies are used by our business segments to manage the impact of our projects and operations to sensitive habitats and wildlife in jurisdictions in which we operate. Examples of measures that were implemented in 2017 include:
Utilities & Power Operations
For two Enbridge expansion projects in northern British Columbia, we are training construction crews on how to work without disturbing a threatened Northern Mountain Caribou herd.
We are building our Wyndwood Expansion and High Pine Expansion natural gas pipeline projects in an area that these caribou pass through on their way from high to low elevation. A critical time window for the herd is January 15 to July 15. Female caribou are pregnant during this time period and are sensitive to disturbances and predators. To be able to build during this time, Enbridge has taken a number of steps to mitigate any disturbances to the herd.
About 1,000 contractors on these two projects have undergone caribou training. Part of this training focuses on what to do if a caribou comes onto a construction site: stop vehicles and equipment, dim or turn off the lights and remain stopped until the caribou are out of sight. Workers cannot scare the caribou off the road or project site, and must provide details of caribou sightings.
The construction projects also have two full-time caribou monitors from the Saulteau First Nations and West Moberly First Nations. The monitors examine the areas around the projects for caribou tracks and other signs, and they ensure that any wildlife trails along the projects’ footprints remain open and accessible for all animals to use.
“Caribou are a federally protected species in Canada and have a Species Recovery Strategy to ensure their recovery and long-term survival,” said Kyle Harrison, who works on Enbridge’s project execution environmental team and who developed the caribou training program for the two projects.
The population of this particular caribou herd—called the Klinse-za or Moberly herd—has dwindled rapidly over the last 20 years, from 198 in 1995 to a low of 16 in 2013, but by 2017 had grown to 65. Caribou herds are declining for a number of reasons, including loss of habitat and an increase in predators, primarily wolves.
Besides the training and monitoring, Enbridge also supports a maternal penning program for the Moberly herd. During birthing season, about 10 to 15 pregnant cows are rounded up and kept in a pen until their calves are about six weeks old. The pen protects the mothers and calves from predators when they are most vulnerable. The goal of the project is to stop the decline of the herd and save it from extinction.
Supporting Technology and Research: Through our membership in industry associations, we work to continually improve pipeline safety standards, industry best practices and recommended approaches in support of improved environmental management and protection. We also engage with other organizations on specific topics, for example with the Nature Conservancy on steep-slope construction best practices in the U.S.
As part of our commitment to biodiversity and the environment, Enbridge is a member with the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), and we now have three sites that have earned Conservation Certification under WHC’s certification program.
Enbridge and Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline earned the WHC certification for the New England Cottontail Habitat Enhancement Project at the Eliot Compressor Station in York County, Maine. The Cottontail Project is a collaborative effort between Enbridge, TRC Environmental, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to improve and restore habitats for the declining New England cottontail rabbit population. In 2009, New England cottontails, an endangered species in Maine, were detected within a half-mile of the property. The wildlife team concluded that New England cottontails could use the property if they improved the habitat.
Habitat improvement efforts include cutting selected trees to encourage dense thicket vegetation, creating brush piles to provide cover for wildlife, controlling invasive vegetation and volunteer planting of 575 native shrubs. The cover that these shrubs provide is extremely important to New England cottontails as both protection from predators and preferred winter food sources.
Besides enhancing biodiversity, the wildlife team fostered teamwork and interaction with the community. Also, through educational brochures, news releases and communication within the company, the team educated employees and the public on topics including New England cottontails, wildlife habitats and wildlife species decline.
Another Enbridge WHC certified project is located along approximately 1.8 miles (2.9 kilometers) of the Big Sandy natural gas pipeline right-of-way (ROW) within the Yatesville Lake Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Lawrence County, Kentucky. In 2007, a previous owner of the Big Sandy Pipeline made a voluntary agreement with Yatesville Lake WMA managers to establish trees and shrubs on the edges of the ROW. Since acquiring the pipeline in 2011, we have continued these conservation efforts by partnering with the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources. The project is aimed at incorporating the needs of local wildlife species into overall ROW management plans, which will lead to greater biodiversity and inspire additional sustainable conservation-oriented projects. This has been accomplished through the use of wildlife beneficial seed mixes, tree and shrub plantings, and placement of nest boxes and bat boxes. The use of native plant species provides essential habitat and food sources for native fauna. With the establishment of a healthy population of native flora and fauna, the site also will be less susceptible to threats of invasive species.
In March 2013, Spectra Energy acquired an existing WHC-certified project site with the purchase of the Express-Platte pipeline system. The site, which is located approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Medicine Hat, Alberta on the north slope of the South Saskatchewan River Valley, includes three enhancement WHC-certified projects rolled into one: a prairie wildlife observation program; an integrated weed/invasive plant management program; and a rattlesnake hibernaculum construction and monitoring program. The Rattlesnake Habitat Enhancement Project recently went through its third re-certification through the WHC Conservation Certification program, and in 2017, the Express Rattlesnake Hibernaculum was nominated for the “Reptiles and Amphibians Project Award” at the annual WHC Conservation Conference. Meanwhile, through the ongoing wildlife observation program, we are continuing to identify and monitor prairie species populations in the area. Semi-annually, a biologist and an Enbridge EHS coordinator visit the site to identify and eliminate any invasive plant species and document the restoration process for the disturbed area. To date, three rattlesnakes have been seen around the area and snakeskin has been located near the entrances and exits of the hibernaculum. This is a promising sign that the project is helping to restore the declining rattlesnake population in southern Alberta.
We recognize the ecological, cultural and social significance of water. This informs the way we plan, build and operate our pipelines and facilities and how we manage our water use.
We manage and mitigate our impacts on water in many ways:
Stakeholder Engagement and Outreach: At a local level, we regularly engage with stakeholders—including customers, local communities, environmental groups, water users, regulators, water management authorities and suppliers—and with Indigenous individuals and communities to provide awareness around the programs we have in place to maintain the fitness and reliability of our systems, and to address concerns about the potential impacts of spills on water quality.
We engage with regulators on water management issues through a number of industry associations, including: through CEPA’s Integrity First Program to develop and implement the Pipeline Associate Watercourse Crossing (5th Edition); the Canadian Gas Association (CGA); and the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets (AACO), which deals with wetlands. We also maintain direct contact with regulators at various jurisdictional levels to facilitate discussions on specific projects or concerns. We take a proactive approach with regulators by communicating directly with them on project specifics to identify regulatory requirements.
By working with these individuals and groups to share information and understand their concerns, we are able to incorporate more effective treatment measures into our project management and operations, while also supporting the efficiency of regulatory reviews.
While water is critical to the energy industry of which we are a part (for example, both upstream oil production and downstream oil refining may require large volumes of water), because we are primarily a transporter and deliverer of energy, water is not a key input to most of our operations. However, we do use water for: hydrostatically testing the integrity of existing and new pipelines and related equipment prior to operation; cooling and processing in natural gas processing facilities; and dissolution of subsurface salt formations to create natural gas storage caverns.
Hydrostatic testing: We carefully manage our direct consumption and disposal of the water we use for testing the integrity of our pipeline systems. For a detailed description of the hydrostatic testing process, please refer to the Hydrostatic testing Public Awareness page.. Our operations and engineering groups measure and track the water we use for hydrostatic pressure testing for most of our larger projects and have water management procedures in place to ensure water quality prior to discharging it back to its source. Water is tracked based on the following categories: total volumes withdrawn and discharged; destination of discharged water; and volume by treatment method.
|Gas Transportation and Midstream||4.4||3.3||429.3|
|Utilities and Power Operations||Enbridge Gas Distribution||0.3||0.5||0|
1 Includes water use volumes from both Liquids Pipelines (including Express-Platte) and the Major Projects Group.
2 2017 reflects Spectra Energy & Enbridge assets as a combined company.
We are committed to waste minimization, source reduction and recycling―approaches that offer both environmental and economic benefits. For example, on our construction projects we look for opportunities to reuse or recycle construction materials; and property managers at our corporate and other office locations have implemented waste recycling programs.
Enbridge currently tracks and reports waste volumes for some, but not all, regulatory jurisdictions. In 2014 Enbridge began reporting the estimated total weight of hazardous and non-hazardous waste-by disposal method – of our GD business segment. Waste volumes are currently being tracked and reported by both GTM and Union Gas for 2017. Moving forward with the continued integration Enbridge will endeavor to work towards expansion of the current waste management processes to integrate other BU’s and report on their waste volumes in subsequent Sustainability reports.
|Gas Transmission and Midstream2|
|Utilities and Power Operations|
|Union Gas||Hazardous Waste||442||597||1,026|
1 Waste Generation and Recycling volumes are only available for assets acquired through combination with Spectra Energy.
2 Includes both U.S. and Canadian operations.
To reduce impacts and create additional benefits, we incorporate environmental considerations into our supply chain management (SCM) system through our procurement processes. This includes the disposal and recycling of materials such as unused pipe, scrap metal and obsolete electronics. In 2017, SCM’s disposal of scrap and unused pipe included the:
Every Request for Proposal (RFP) that our SCM function issues on behalf of our natural gas utilities to vehicle manufacturers requires that the supplier provide vehicles that are either Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) ready or that can be easily converted. They are also converting medium-duty trucks, which normally operate on diesel fuel, to run on natural gas. Moreover, hybrid systems are routinely installed that enable work trucks to operate alternating current (AC) and direct current (DC) power tools and equipment from an alternative power source, eliminating the need to have the vehicle engine running. Enbridge Gas Distribution has a total fleet of 804 vehicles. Of these, 600 vehicles, including 13 medium-duty trucks, have been converted to operate on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). When appropriate, Union Gas purchases trucks that are equipped with CNG-ready engines and are then modified to run on either CNG or gasoline when the utility body is installed. Union Gas currently has a total of 26 CNG vehicles, with an additional 13 vehicles to be delivered in 2018. This will result in five percent of Union Gas’s fleet vehicles running on CNG.
Enbridge has established processes for the disposal of obsolete and unneeded electronics—including laptops, desktop computers and monitors—in a safe and ecologically responsible manner. Spectra Energy had similar programs; as part of integration, we are working to harmonize the two systems into a single, enterprise-wide process.
|Business Segment (metric tons)||2015||2016||2017|
|Gas Transmission & Midstream|
|Utilities and Power Operations|
*Total for 2016 does not include Union Gas
Through our community investments, we support initiatives that promote environmental stewardship, conservation, habitat remediation and environmental education. For example, we established a three-year, $3-million Ecofootprint Grant Program to support environmental restoration and improvement efforts in the communities crossed by our Line 3 Replacement project in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Eligible applicants are non-profit 501(c) 3 organizations, Native American tribes, state government agencies, local governments and post-secondary academic institutions. For more information on our community environmental initiatives, please see the Community Investments section of this report.
|Nearly $1 million in Ecofootprint grants to 12 groups in the three states.||Nearly $1 million in Ecofootprint grants to 15 groups in the three states.||More than $1.15 million to 17 environmental initiatives across three states.|
We also support conservation and ecological preservation efforts in the larger community through conservation partnerships with the Wildlife Habitat Council and grants to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation organizations such as the Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership (CWRP).
In British Columbia since 2012, we have been a financial supporter of the Klinse-Za maternal penning project for the Moberly caribou herd. In its initial year, the project had 24 caribou and in 2017 the population had grown to 65. The program is organized by West Moberly First Nations and the Saulteau First Nations communities.
Brucedale Conservation – Enbridge made a five-year, $100,000 investment to support removal of invasive phragmites plants
Lower Thames Valley – Union Gas supported the development of the Walter Devereux Conservation Area into a 32-hectar (80 acres) farm –demonstration
Ontario’s St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental Sciences has ‘reconnected the community with the river’
NEXUS Gas Transmission hosted Michigan day campers for a National Pollinator Week event
Valley Crossing Pipeline and King Ranch teamed up to support Texas A&M-Kingsville’s monarch butterfly habitat project
The invasive plant, phragmites australis, could be compared to the impenetrable hedge that confined Sleeping Beauty's sleeping kingdom. Literally translated to hedge fence or hedge row from Latin, the plant forms an impermeable barrier with its cane-like shoots, which grow two to four meters high at a destiny of around 200 stems per square metre. It rapidly takes over an area, and becomes difficult to control, even trapping small animals in its stems.
The plant has been damaging the Lake Huron watershed—barring public access to the waterfront, and damaging native animal and plant populations—since the early 2000s and the Brucedale Conservation Area (BCA), which is owned by the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority (SVCA), has been trying to take back land and coastal wetlands that the plant has taken over.
The Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (LHCCC) in Goderich, Ontario was the first to raise the alarm about the plant and worked with Enbridge to undertake a five-year partnership worth $100,000, that will enable the Coastal Centre to manage the phragmites in the Brucedale Conservation Area.
As part of that attempt to control the phragmites australis, the Brucedale Conservation Area recently had a visit from one of two Swedish-made amphibious vehicles in Canada, and its four-person crew to uproot a significant portion of the invasive reed. Organized by the LHCC, the infested area received four days of cutting using the machine.
The area was first surveyed for wildlife, and in some areas left uncut if it there was a potential impact. For example, a heron nesting area was left uncut to prevent impacting the herons. The machine moves slowly so there is no environmental damage with the weed cutter nor does it harm wildlife.
The amphibious vehicle already completed work in Lambton Shores, Manitoulin Island and will be doing work in Oliphant for the Bruce Peninsula Biosphere Association in the coming weeks, before moving to Kettle and Stoney Point and likely Long Point. The LHCC also secured funding from the National Wetland Conservation Fund which allowed the BCA in partnership with the Municipality of Kincardine to cut the entire bay in front of the Brucedale Conservation Area.
Now that the plant is removed, everyone is able to enjoy the shoreline; students and members of the community learned how to identify and remove the invasive plant at lunch and learns hosted by Enbridge and LHCCC; and the native species have their homes back.
For over a decade, Union Gas and the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority (LTVCA) in Ontario have been partners in environmental education, conservation and restoration. LTVCA’s core values of ‘respect, integrity, commitment, objectivity and collaborative’ are strongly aligned with those of Union Gas and Enbridge. Over the last 10 years, Union Gas has supported numerous LTVCA projects and programs—from biodiversity education to conservation and restoration projects.
In 2017, Union Gas supported the development of the Walter Devereux Conservation Area into a 32-hectare (80-acre) farm-demonstration site. “Visitors can walk the 2.5-kilometer trail to learn about best management practices on their farms, including cover crops, soil management, windbreaks, forest products, selective harvesting, bio fuel and uses for tall grass prairie,” explained Randall Van Wagner, LTVCA’s Manager of Conservation Lands and Services.
In addition to financial support, Union Gas employees, retirees, family and friends have invested hours of ‘sweat equity ‘in environmentally focused community projects. Through the Helping Hands in Action program, Union Gas volunteers planted trees and a prairie garden at the LTVCA’s C.M. Wilson Conservation Area to help restore the area and to showcase nature and wildlife for the local community.
What are the benefits of the partnership between the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) and Enbridge?
For 30 years, WHC has been working at the intersection of business and nature. We help leading companies like Enbridge create conservation programs on their properties that benefit the environment and surrounding communities. Enbridge is an ideal partner to expand the WHC model of corporate conservation in the U.S. and Canada, and increase the collective positive environmental outcomes our members around the world actively seek.
It’s exciting to be part of Enbridge’s commitment to environmental stewardship. From the c-suite to the site level, this initiative was developed to balance its environmental commitment with corporate sustainability goals, risk reduction, employee engagement and community values. We’re proud to partner with Enbridge to empower and encourage their employee volunteers to develop and manage WHC Conservation Certification® programs that Enbridge implements in local communities that provide ecological benefit within an operational and budgetary context. This integrated approach—across disciplines, operations and communities—contributes to an overall positive outcome for species and habitat.
How has the WHC worked with Enbridge to advance the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship?
Enbridge understands that for this type of partnership to thrive, it must be more than a typical, arms-length philanthropic relationship. To have longevity—and real, meaningful impact—our partnership must be ready to adapt to meet the changing needs of business. To that effect, Enbridge and WHC engaged in regular strategy sessions throughout 2017 that helped us understand the Enbridge culture and business, and allowed us to build important relationships within the company.
Together, we’ve worked to develop a strategic approach to environmental stewardship with a specific focus on ensuring conservation is accessible across all types of operations. What’s visionary about what Enbridge is doing is that they realize this isn’t possible with a cookie-cutter approach. Enbridge’s environmental stewardship is based upon a global approach that benefits the company, employees and community as a whole—not just one project or one program, but all of them together. That collective approach is one of the reasons why the program has been successful.
One of the highlights for Enbridge in 2017 was the Pollinator initiative that we partnered with you on for our NEXUS project. Why do you think that initiative was particularly successful?
As part of the conversation around the NEXUS project, the NEXUS project team and the WHC developed an initiative to directly connect with community members and other stakeholders to create positive impacts for the environment—right in their backyards.
Five accessible locations on the proposed pipeline were chosen for habitat and species enhancement projects and were informed by the needs of the communities. We identified local partners, created tactics that exceeded compliance requirements, and aligned with the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, as well as state wildlife action plans.
We partnered with local parks at the locations to host Pollinator Week events and invited day-camp children for planting and pollinator education. Thousands of native plants were installed to improve habitat for pollinators and other wildlife, as well as to improve the overall appearance.
Through these activities, we could effectively inject community value into the dialogue, and open positive relations between NEXUS and community stakeholders, securing social license to operate and creating a more collaborative working relationship.