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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Quebec Commission orders pipeline depth at 1.6 m or more than 5 feet

In its decision granting authorization to Gaz Metro for the expansion of its gas distribution pipeline facilities, the Commission de Protection du Territoire Agricole du Quebec (Agricultural Land Protection Commission) is requiring that the pipeline be installed at a depth of 1.6 metres (or more than 5 feet) through cultivated land.  The Commission noted that it requires a minimum depth of cover of 1.2 metres on private property, but in this case 1.6 metres was warranted.  The Commission ruled that Gaz Metro would have to be notified of any agricultural activity conducted to a depth of more than 60 centimetres. 

Note that Section 112 of the NEB Act requires a landowner to obtain permission from the pipeline company for any activities at a depth of more than 30 centimetres (or 1 foot).  The difference is depth of cover.  Under NEB regulation, pipelines need only be installed at a minimum depth of 2 feet as set out in the applicable CSA standard. 

If pipelines had to be installed at 1.6 metres' depth, would a 30 centimetre restriction be necessary?

Read the Commission decision (in French) at: Société en commandite Gaz Métro (Re).