Material Topics Stakeholder Engagement

2014 Performance

In 2014, we made substantial progress in each of our four program areas pertaining to stakeholder engagement:

  • Public Involvement Programs
  • Public Awareness Programs
  • Emergency Response and Preparedness Initiatives
  • Economic Inclusion and Partnership Initiatives

Following is an overview of each program area:

Public Involvement Programs

We are currently undertaking dozens of large projects across Canada and the U.S. and – whether a particular project pertains to a pipeline, storage tank, power transmission line or renewable energy project – as soon as we have proposed it, we build in a Public Involvement Program (PIP) as an integral part of the project plan.

PIPs are proactive, two-way communication and consultation programs designed to help us understand our stakeholders, gather their input, answer questions, learn about community interests and perspectives, and, when needed, implement changes.

Under a PIP we use a variety of channels – including in-person meetings, newsletters, posters, regulatory compliance mailings, telephone calls, advertising, updates through social media, and community open house meetings – to provide regular project updates to:

  • Landowners
  • Community residents
  • Stakeholder organizations
  • Public officials
  • Chambers of commerce and business associations
  • Emergency responders
  • Media 

To ensure that our PIPs are appropriate for the projects for which we have created them, we spend time reaching out to our stakeholders and their communities to get to know them, the local environment, and the potential issues and risks associated with each of our projects. We conduct our outreach through community surveys, focus groups and one-on-one meetings with community leaders. In Canada, regulations also require us, at times, to conduct socio-economic baseline studies, which help us align our community investments with community interests and needs. With the knowledge we gather through all of these means, we create detailed community profiles.

An example of a PIP is one that our Gas Distribution business segment (GD) created in advance of receiving Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approval to build a $700-million, 50-kilometre large-diameter natural gas pipeline, mostly within existing utility corridors in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The OEB ultimately granted GD approval to build the project in January 2014. The approval rested in part on an effective PIP.

Between 2012 and 2014, GD’s PIP involved consulting with local government representatives, community members and approximately 400 property owners with backyards along the GD right-of-way. It also involved:

  • Attending over 100 meetings, placing 35 ads in local newspapers, distributing more than 234,000 project notices to residents and businesses along the right-of-way, and participating in an extensive door knocking and social media outreach effort
  • Inviting community members to attend two neighbourhood meetings at which project staff were available to answer questions about the project, construction planning, impact mitigation, site preparatory work and the potential impact on trees and other vegetation within and adjacent to the pipeline route as a result of construction
  • GD actively working with the community and other stakeholders to ensure that safe practices were adopted around the pipeline. This work included promoting the Ontario One Call program, a one-call locate system that GD helped to establish in Ontario to ensure that stakeholders knew to call for utility locations prior to digging (as required by law). It also involved improving public awareness among landowners along vital main corridors.

Another example of a PIP is one we completed in support of the integrity dig program we undertook on our Line 9 in Ontario and Quebec in 2013 and 2014. The Line 9 integrity dig program is a monitoring and inspection program that we undertake regularly to check for corrosion, cracks, dents and other features on the pipeline.

In advance of launching the program, we proactively communicated about the integrity digs that we would be undertaking with landowners, municipality representatives and other stakeholders, discussing with them the schedule, access information, and any relevant special considerations. We launched an ad campaign and showed a video that explained our preventive pipeline maintenance program at open houses. We offered representatives at each affected municipality a face-to-face meeting along with background material. In addition, we appointed a dedicated liaison agent who provided weekly updates about the work to be performed during each three-week period, and who mitigated any issues with affected municipalities. We also organized dig site tours for municipal and provincial representatives, first responders, media and other stakeholders. Once we had completed the program, we prepared a report that described the work performed in each community, and sent it to each affected municipality.


Through our PIPs, stakeholders have the opportunity to express their interests, views, concerns and grievances. The following are some examples of the stakeholder grievances they shared with us in 2014:

Meetings with the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Associations - In 2014 we held meetings with a Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowners Associations (CAEPLA) negotiating team for the purpose of reaching a settlement agreement related to our Line 3 Replacement Project, and of updating the terms of the our integrity dig agreement for western Canada.

Any Canadian landowner – whether a CAEPLA member or not – can reach us through our toll-free telephone lines, or by speaking with one of our regional land agents.

Outreach to Liquids Pipelines Stakeholders in our Eastern Canada Region (which includes Line 9) - The Eastern Canada Region of our Liquids Pipelines business segment (LP) comprises more than 100 communities in Ontario and Quebec.

Through our outreach in 2014, we know that stakeholders in the region are concerned about our emergency response capacity and response times; the integrity of our operations; the number and location of isolation valves along Line 9; and how we would mitigate the impacts of spills on high-consequence areas. We have addressed these concerns by hosting numerous meetings since the conclusion of the National Energy Board (NEB) 2014 hearing with landowners, municipalities, other government representatives, first responders, conservation authorities and Aboriginal groups whose land, jurisdiction or traditional territory is traversed by Line 9. The appropriate Enbridge subject matter experts attended these meetings to address overall concerns, as well as specific regional issues.

At the close of 2014, we had still not resolved all concerns, but we continue to engage with the stakeholders affected by our operations in our Eastern Canada Region (including Line 9).

Any stakeholder in the region can reach us through our toll-free telephone lines, dedicated e-mail address, or by speaking with one of our regional land agents. We post a log of all Line 9 grievances (in French and English) on the National Energy Board (NEB) website.

Outreach to Liquids Pipelines Stakeholders Affected by our Mainline Enhancement Program (Lines 67 and 61) - Our Mainline Enhancement Program will involve adding pumping capacity to several of our Mainline’s existing pipelines (Lines 67 and 61) in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and upgrading the pipeline terminals in those states. When completed, the program will have expanded our shippers’ access to refinery markets in the U.S. Midwest and beyond in response to their increasing North American crude production.

Through our outreach in 2014, we know that stakeholders affected by Lines 67 and 61 are concerned about the need for us to maintain safe, reliable energy transportation that protects the environment and communities, and about our responsibility to enhance economic development in rural communities. We are addressing some of these concerns by providing tours of our pump stations and terminals to provide visual references of our safety features and insight into our actual operations. In 2014, we hosted more than 20 tours with a combined attendance of more than 100 stakeholders in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Any stakeholder affected by our Mainline Enhancement Program can reach us through our toll-free 1-800 telephone line, or speak with one of the program’s community advisors.

Outreach to Liquids Pipelines Stakeholders Affected by Line 6B Phase 2 Replacement Project and Line 5 - In 2014, as part of our Line 6B Phase 2 Replacement Project, we replaced approximately 460 kilometres (285 miles) of our existing Line 6B crude oil pipeline in Indiana and Michigan. We completed the project in October 2014, and placed the line back into service.

Throughout our work in 2014 some stakeholders opposed the project. As Line 6B stakeholders had been greatly affected by our 2010 oil spill near Marshall, Michigan, they continued to express concerns about our leak history and the integrity of our pipelines.

In 2014, some environmental stakeholders in Michigan also vocally opposed our Line 5, an approximately 1,000-kilometre (645-mile) pipeline that travels through Michigan from Superior, Wisconsin to Sarnia, Ontario. In particular, they opposed the section of Line 5 that runs under the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, expressing specific concerns about the potential hazards associated with Line 5 crossing such an important water body and about our emergency response capabilities. They also expressed general concerns about hydrocarbon development and climate change.

To address their concerns, we invited key stakeholders on tours of our pump stations, tank farms and facility terminals. We also hosted a panel discussion about our Line 5 integrity program, and conducted emergency response demonstrations. In addition, we facilitated wildlife training and forums with environmental groups in Indiana and Michigan, and held meetings with numerous civic and social organizations such as Rotary and Kiwanis clubs. We have also presented at county, township and other governmental association meetings.

At the close of 2014, we had still not resolved all concerns, but we continue to engage with the stakeholders affected by our Line 6B Phase 2 Replacement Project and Line 5.

Any stakeholder affected by Line 6B or Line 5 can reach us through our toll-free 1-800 telephone line, or speak with one of the area’s community advisors.

Outreach to Liquids Pipelines Stakeholders in our Chicago Region - Our Chicago Region includes approximately 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) of right-of-way with more than 8,200 kilometres (5,100 miles) of pipeline in Wisconsin, northern Illinois, northwest Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and New York.

Many stakeholders in this area were also affected by our 2010 oil spill on our Line 6B near Marshall, Michigan. As such in 2014 they continued to express general concerns about Enbridge’s leak history, the integrity of our pipelines, and our emergency response capabilities. Some also opposed the import of fuels into the U.S. from Canada’s oil sands. Still others oppose the intensive pipelines maintenance program that we have been carrying out in the area – including the integrity digs and pipeline replacement work we have been undertaking – thinking that the work reflects serious underlying issues rather than preventative maintenance.

We are addressing their concerns through a variety of channels including face-to-face meetings; facility tours and presentations at various civic, social and business organization meetings throughout the region. We reached over 280 stakeholders in 2014 through 15 in-person meetings, six facility tours and five presentations at local organizations. Participating stakeholders included elected officials, emergency responders, media, non-governmental and environmental non-governmental organization representatives and local community leaders.

In addition, several landowners in the Chicago Region complained about the property damage we caused when our contractors mowed land outside our right-of-way. As a result of these complaints, we addressed their concerns and implemented new procedures for mowing contractors that require them to accept liability for their actions, and that hold them accountable for living up to our values of Integrity, Safety and Respect.

Any stakeholder in the Chicago Region can reach us through our 1-800 telephone line, or speak with one of the area’s community advisors.

Outreach to Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas Company Stakeholders - Enbridge St. Lawrence Gas Company (ESLG) is a wholly owned subsidiary of our Gas Distribution business segment (GD). Beginning in 2012 and continuing to the end of 2018, ESLG has been – and will be – expanding its distribution system into Franklin County, New York, under a public-private partnership with the State of New York and Franklin County. The $50-million expansion project involves adding approximately 77 kilometres (48 miles) of gas transmission lines that would be capable of serving 4,400 new commercial and residential customers. Natural gas service was made available to a portion of the expansion area in November 2013. ESLG expects to complete construction on the transmission line in the first quarter of 2015, at which time its gas service will be made available to customers throughout the expansion area.

While ESLG currently has no formal grievance mechanisms in place, it has requested that stakeholders file any grievances with the New York State Public Service Commission.

Outreach to Stakeholders Affected by Enbridge’s Renewable Energy Projects - Our Cruickshank and Underwood windfarms at Kincardine, Ontario, have had a formal dispute resolution process in place since 2007. With approval from the Kincardine Town Council, we updated the process in 2013 and formally implemented it in 2014.

The updated process addresses all types of complaints, including noise. In addition, it states that we will first cooperate with Hydro One (Ontario’s electricity utility) to determine the source of any electrical concerns, and second, allow stakeholders the option of registering complaints with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment (MOE).

In 2014, a few stakeholders submitted grievances regarding noise, most through MOE. For the past several years, in response to the grievances, we have put equipment in place on two locations to continuously monitor the noise being generated by the wind turbines in question.

While we have not yet developed formal dispute resolution processes (or hired facilitators) for our other renewable energy projects in Canada or the U.S., we will do so as the need presents itself.

Outreach to Stakeholders affected by Enbridge’s Superior Terminal Expansion - Throughout 2014, we expanded our Superior Terminal in Douglas County, Wisconsin. The expansion, which we began in 2013, will add more than 1.2 million barrels to the 8.5 million barrels that we currently move through the terminal.

At the outset of the construction, neighbours complained about the associated noise, dust and vehicle traffic. In response to their complaints, we treated the road to reduce dust; presented homeowners with gift certificates enabling them to have their houses washed; posted a security guard at a problem intersection to control speed limits; and, overall, decreased traffic and reduced speeds in the area. We also hosted a tailgate party at a local restaurant to thank neighbors for their patience while we all watched a televised Green Bay Packers game.

Any stakeholder affected by our Superior Terminal can reach us through our 1-800 telephone line, or speak with one of our community advisors.

Public Awareness Programs

Our Public Awareness Programs (PAPs) consist of initiatives that improve stakeholders’ awareness of pipelines in their communities. These initiatives help ensure that stakeholders – primarily individuals who live or work near our pipeline rights-of-way and first responders such as fire fighters, emergency management personnel and members of law enforcement – know:

  • Where our pipelines are located
  • How to recognize the warning signs of a potential pipeline emergency
  • Pipeline safety procedures in the event of an emergency
  • How to contact us

Our PAPs also involve ensuring that members of the public, representatives from utilities and other companies, and contractors know where our pipelines are located, what products we are transporting in them, and how they can work safely near them.

One critical objective of our PAPs is to ensure that stakeholders know what they need to do before they can safely dig near pipelines. To meet this objective, we participate in Safe Digging Month each April, promote the Call Before You Dig message, and display the logo on our facilities.

Additionally, in the U.S. we raise awareness of the National Call Before You Dig number (811) through our annual participation in 811 Day each August 11. Our involvement in 811 Day involves running online advertising in areas that have had digging-related incidents and near misses, sending executive e-mails to our employees, posting intranet articles and sharing information through social media.

In support of 811 Day 2014, we contributed to a nation-wide media effort in the U.S. by running a 30-second public service announcement on primetime television and radio, including the major networks. We also sponsored a campaign to secure 811 signage behind home plate at eight Major League Baseball games across the U.S. on August 11.

The following are examples of PAPs we conducted in 2014:

School Pipeline Safety Partnership Outreach (U.S.)

Through an agreement with the Pipeline Association for Public Awareness  and the Danielle Dawn Smalley Foundation,we reached out to the administration in more than 100 schools located within 365 metres (1,200 feet) of our pipelines with information. Our outreach also includes school visits and information distribution.

Information Campaigns

In Canada, our public awareness team regularly visits municipal officials, emergency response agencies and 9-1-1 dispatch call centres along our liquids pipelines rights-of-way to build relationships and review emergency preparedness information. In 2014, they conducted more than 660 stakeholder visits across the country. In Ontario, GD sent monthly safety newsletters to more than two million natural gas customers. In the U.S., we mailed more than 816,000 brochures to targeted stakeholders along our rights-of-way, and visited residential homes in close proximity to our sour gas and natural gas liquids lines in Texas to provide information on how to recognize and respond to a pipeline emergency.

Emergency Response and Preparedness Initiatives

Emergency response and preparedness initiatives make up a vitally important component of our stakeholder engagement. In 2014, we undertook the following initiatives. For more information, see the Emergency Preparedness and Response section of this website.

Crisis Communications and Response Plan

In 2014, we finalized our new Crisis Communications and Response Plan, providing our teams in Canada and the U.S. with a consistent approach to responding to operational and non-operational incidents of all sizes.

Our plan aligns us with an incident command system adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Coast Guard and local first responders. Under the plan, we provide critical information from our internal response to third-party emergency responders through a password-protected website.

Emergency Response Ambassador Program

Enbridge's Emergency Response Ambassadors are responsible for building relationships with the emergency response organizations that would most likely respond to an emergency involving our pipelines or facilities. The Ambassadors meet with first responders in their area to provide information about local operations and emergency response training. They also provide information about our online training and Safe Community Program, and invite responders to participate in emergency response exercises, tabletop drills, equipment deployments and facility tours. Currently, more than 70 employees across the U.S. and Canada serve as ambassadors. 

National Preparedness Month

National Preparedness Month, which runs in the U.S. in September, gives us the opportunity to share important pipeline safety and emergency response information with people who live and work near our operations.

To take advantage of this opportunity, we posted online banner ads, which generated more than 32 million impressions, and directed stakeholders to pipeline safety information on our website. We also illustrated our safety procedures in an infographic and shared it on our social media channels.

Enbridge Liquids and Transportation Marketing (ELTM) Safety Training Trailer

Based in Petal, Mississippi, ELTM has enhanced its emergency preparedness by converting a transportation trailer into a safety training trailer. By retrofitting a liquid petroleum gas trailer with Plexiglas windows, ELTM helps first responders understand the trailer’s inner workings – and be better prepared to respond in the event of an emergency involving a truck transporting propane or a natural gas liquid.

Features of the safety training trailer, visible through the Plexiglas walls, include internal pressure relief valves, a spray fill liquids line that shows the product’s change from vapor to liquid as it enters the trailer, and a rotary gauge mechanism arm. ELTM training sessions with first responders include a detailed explanation of safety features. The ELTM training trailer serves as a key feature of firefighter training. The training trailer sessions are led by our safety experts and include a tour of the truck with an Enbridge truck driver.

Economic Inclusion and Partnership Initiatives

We are aware that stakeholders’ expectations of business are changing, and that they no longer want to be merely consulted on projects, but rather, want to be key players in them. Further, we are aware that stakeholders are increasingly expecting businesses to be both profitable and to have social missions embedded into their core strategies – thereby helping to solve social and environmental problems while they build profitable companies.

While we consider ourselves still to be at the beginning of our journey toward creating shared value, we have, for many years, been involved in many mutually beneficial partnership initiatives. Some examples from 2014 include:

Green Corridor

Together with Quebec municipalities and Citizens’ Projects Quebec, we undertook an urban reforestation project called the Green Corridor. For more information, see the Community Investment section of this website. 

Wetland Restoration Partnership

In Sarnia, Ontario, where we have our Sarnia Solar facility and various pipelines and storage facilities, we partnered with a local environmental group on a five-year plan to restore a part of a wetland. The work has involved creating a nursery to cultivate species at risk. School groups are helping to transplant the plants to areas in the community where they are depleted.

The Environmental Technician Training Program

The Northern Gateway Project (NGP) partnered with Kitimat Community Services Society (KCSS) to design and deliver an Environmental Technician Training Program. This program, which took place from February 10, 2014 to May 31, 2014, included environmental technician training, essential skills, life skills, and marine mammal survey training. Eighteen participants from Kitimat, Terrace and Hazelton completed the training.

Project Shop Class

NGP supported the Construction Foundation of B.C. Project Shop Class initiative to upgrade classrooms with new equipment. NGP’s donation was distributed across seven schools in Northern B.C. (Kitimat, Terrace, Prince George, Houston and Dawson Creek). This initiative provides new equipment for students today and will benefit those following them for years to come.