Pipeline Crossings


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You have selected this document because your project involves Pipeline Crossing works in or about a stream. Works addressed in this section involves pipeline crossing methods used to cross a watercourse. When planning your project, develop designs and select locations to minimize potential impacts to fish and fish habitat. If your works are outside the scope of this Guidebook then a MOE Approval application must be completed and DFO contacted to determine if a review and/or Authorization under the Fisheries Act is appropriate.

How to proceed with your Pipeline Crossing Project

The following steps will help guide you through the provincial and federal Notification, Approval and/or Authorization process for Pipeline Crossing Construction or Maintenance works:

Does your project involve Pipelines in or about a stream?
Proceed to Introduction to reselect project appropriate activity
or
Contact your local MOE and/or DFO representative for assistance.
Have you considered all applicable Legislation, Regulations and Policies?
Proceed to Introduction for further details on Legislation, Regulations, Policies, Avoidance of HADD under the Fisheries Act and applicable Region Operational Statement(s)
Does your project involve Pipeline crossings Construction or Maintenance as defined by the Water Act Regulations?
Will your project meet all of the Water Act Standard Conditions (see Step 3 Addendum)?
Proceed to BMP Section of this document and apply relevant BMPs and Conditions to help your project adhere to the required Standards and Conditions.
Proceed to BMP Section of this document and apply relevant BMPs and Conditions to help your project adhere to the required Standards and Conditions.

Pipeline Crossing Construction or Maintenance Water Act Standard Conditions:

· pipeline and associated works are installed in a dry stream channel at a depth so that the top of the pipe is at least 1 m below the lowest elevation of the bed of the stream; and,
· the crossing is constructed in accordance with the requirements prescribed in paragraph 44(b) of the Water Act for clear span crossings in the case of an aerial crossing:
  • the crossing and approach roads do not produce a backwater effect or increase the head in the stream;
  • equipment used for construction, including site preparation, maintenance or removal of the crossing, is situated in a dry stream channel or operated from top of bank;
  • the hydraulic capacity of the crossing is equivalent to the hydraulic capacity of the stream channel or is capable of passing the 1 in 200 year maximum daily flow and that, for suspended pipelines the height of the underside of the crossing is also adequate to provide free passage of flood debris and ice flows; and,
  • crossing materials meet the standards of the Canadian Standards Association, as applicable.

Best Management Practices

The following Best Management Practices (BMPs) are methods, that if followed, will help ensure your project minimizes potential impacts to fish and fish habitat and will provide a standard level of protection to the aquatic and terrestrial environment potentially affected by your project.

It is the responsibility of the proponent/developer to ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable legislation. There are three (3) types of BMPs you should consider:

  1. General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations applicable to any project;
  2. Pipeline Crossing Construction or Maintenance specific BMPs (below); and,
  3. Supportive information applicable to project design, implementation and Pipeline Crossing Construction or Maintenance techniques.

General Project BMPs and Standard Project Considerations

Please proceed to the General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations section to review considerations applicable to your project.

Pipeline Crossing or Maintenance Specific BMPs

To achieve the required Standards and objectives that your activity must meet, apply the following BMPs as applicable to your works. To reduce impacts on fish and wildlife habitats and populations, your Pipeline Crossing construction and maintenance activities must consider:

General Pipeline Construction or Maintenance Activities

Design

PL01 ensure General BMPs and Standard Project Considerations have been consulted and appropriately applied prior to commencement of work;
PL02 ensure construction and maintenance activities adhere to Regional Timing Windows to prevent disruption of fish and wildlife habitat;
PL03 avoid floodplains, meander bends, braided streams, alluvial fans and areas where bank stability may be a concern;
PL04 protect natural function and features by avoiding critical fish and wildlife habitat areas;
PL05 align stream crossings perpendicular to stream flow;
PL06 design works to avoid impacting instream complexing such as large woody debris (LWD);
PL07 ensure that soil and weather conditions are factored into work activities so that construction does not result in soil erosion and siltation into the stream;

Operational

PL08 install effective erosion and sediment control measures prior to works to prevent entry of sediment into the watercourse and inspect these measures regularly during the course of construction to ensure they are functioning properly. Make all necessary repairs if any damage occurs or effectiveness is compromised;
PL09 avoid disturbing the bed and banks of the stream by ensuring operational activities and set up remain outside the bankfull width of the stream;
PL10 minimize right-of-way clearing by limiting impacts to on-site and adjacent riparian areas and only work where using directional drilling setbacks from shore. Use existing trails, roads or cut lines as access routes to avoid disturbance to the riparian vegetation, wherever possible;

Post Works Mitigation

PL11 maintain effective erosion and sediment control measures until complete re-vegetation of disturbed areas is achieved;

A. Directional Drilling

Design

PL12 conduct geotechnical evaluations for directional drilling and boring operations where channel and surficial morphology indicate a high risk of crossing failure (e.g. known debris or buried construction material);
PL13 design the drill path to an appropriate depth below the watercourse to minimize the risk of frac-out and prevent the line from becoming exposed due to natural scouring of the stream bed;
PL14 locate drill entry and exit points far enough from the banks of the watercourse to minimize impact on these areas;
PL15 develop a frac-out response plan that includes measures to stop work, contain drilling mud, prevent further migration into the watercourse and notify all applicable authorities;

Operational

PL16 ensure operators do not remove riparian vegetation between drill or bore entry and exit points in preparation of trenchless stream crossing operations;
PL17 construct a dugout/settling basin at the drilling exit site to contain drilling mud to prevent sediment and other deleterious substances from entering the watercourse. If this cannot be achieved, use silt fences or other effective erosion and sediment control measures to prevent drilling mud from entering the watercourse;
PL18 store all waste materials outside of the riparian area and dispose of excess drilling mud, cuttings and other waste materials at an adequately sized disposal facility located away from the water to prevent it from entering the watercourse;
PL19 prevent deleterious substances, such as polymers, bentonite, lubricants and sediment from entering the watercourse;
PL20 monitor fluid pressure and watercourse along a minimum distance of 400 m downstream from the crossing site to identify signs of frac-out during all phases of construction;

Emergency Frac-out Response

PL21 keep all material and equipment, needed to contain and clean up drilling mud releases, on-site, in good working order, and readily accessible in the event of a frac-out;
PL22 immediately notify MOE and DFO if frac-out occurs during works (MOE Environmental Emergency Management Plan Incident Reporting Hotline 1-800-663-3456; DFO Observe, Record and Report Hotline 1-800-465-4336);
PL23 train all appropriate staff in emergency protocol implementation prior to works as part of emergency frac-out plans;
PL24 establish a prioritized clean up procedure according to risk of potential harm and to capacity for drilling mud disposal so as to prevents re-entry into the watercourse;
PL25 ensure emergency clean-up measures do not result in damage to the banks and watercourse;
PL26 document all incidents of frac-out, spills or release of deleterious substances that occur and submit them to the appropriate authorities upon completion of works;

Post Works Mitigation

PL27 monitor reclaimed/deactivated sites in areas of erodible soils until successful plant cover re-establishment and long-term site stability occur;

B. Punch & Bore Crossing

Design

PL28 conduct geotechnical evaluations for directional drilling and boring operations where channel and surficial morphology indicate a high risk of crossing failure (e.g. known debris or buried construction material);
PL29 design the punch and bore path at an appropriate depth (minimum of 1 m) below the watercourse to prevent the pipeline or cable from becoming exposed due to natural scouring of the stream bed;
PL30 develop a response plan to be implemented immediately in the event of a sediment release or spill of a deleterious substance. This plan must include measures to:
  • stop work, contain sediment-laden water and other deleterious substances and prevent further migration into the watercourse;
  • notify all applicable authorities in the area;
  • promptly clean-up and appropriately dispose of the sediment-laden water and deleterious substances; and,
  • ensure clean-up measures are suitably applied so as not to result in further alteration of the bed and/or banks of the watercourse.

Operational

PL31 ensure operators do not remove riparian vegetation between drill or bore entry and exit points in preparation of trenchless stream crossing operations;
PL32 excavate bell holes beyond the top of bank, a minimum of 30 m from any watercourse to preserve riparian vegetation and allow containment of any sediment or deleterious substances;
PL33 treat water and divert uncontaminated water into a vegetated area or settling basin to remove suspended solids and prevent sediment and other deleterious substances from entering the watercourse, when dewatering bell holes;
PL34 stabilize any waste materials removed from the work site (including bell holes) above the ordinary high water mark (HWM), to prevent them from entering any watercourse;
PL35 contain spoil piles with silt fence and ensure it is compacted, covered with biodegradable mats or tarps and/or plant native grass or shrubs;
PL36 monitor the watercourse to observe signs of malfunction during all phases of the work;
PL37 keep on-site and readily accessible all material and equipment needed to contain and clean up releases of sediment-laden water and other deleterious substances for the duration of the work;

Post Works Mitigation

PL38 monitor reclaimed/deactivated sites in areas of erodible soils until successful plant cover re-establishment and long-term site stability occur;

C. Other Pipeline Installation Methods

Open Cut Crossing

Operational

PL39 ensure sediment or other deleterious substance(s) do not enter any watercourse as a result of open cut pipeline construction or maintenance activities;
PL40 install open cut pipeline stream crossings in naturally dry stream channels (no water flow present) or in isolation of any stream flow to prevent downstream sedimentation. If dewatering, water diversion hoses must be screened as per the Freshwater Intake End-of-Pipe Fish Screen Guideline (DFO, 1995) and MOE Temporary Diversion works Standards and BMPs must be applied.
PL41 fish salvage, where fish are present in any part of the watercourse, is necessary prior to dewatering during Temporary Diversion activities. An appropriately Qualified Professional(s) must complete the salvage and acquire necessary collection permits from MOE and DFO and comply with applicable regulations and legislation;
PL42 pump wastewater from project dewatering activities to stable, well-vegetated areas above the high water mark (HWM) of the stream so that fine sediment and other particulate matter can settle out prior to re-entry into the watercourse. These locations must be monitored to ensure that neither erosion nor icing occur;
PL43 all instream pumps should have capacities that exceed expected flows and backup pumps and generators must be on site and operational should they be required;
PL44 maintain natural stream flows upstream and downstream of the worksite during the construction period;
PL45 limit disturbance of the streambed and banks to that necessary to place the pipeline;
PL46 place any materials generated from the open cut pipeline construction or maintenance activities outside the riparian area of the stream to prevent bank erosion and sedimentation of the watercourse during spring melt or periods of increased precipitation;
PL47 backfill excavated sites with appropriate, compacted fill material. Do not backfill with vegetation, debris or mud;

Post Works Mitigation

PL48 re-contour the streambed to its original state and leave in a condition that prevents scouring of the bed, erosion and/or siltation of the watercourse upon completion of the project;
PL49 control surficial water flow at the crossing location upon completion of the project; and,
PL50 monitor reclaimed/deactivated sites with areas of erodible soils to ensure successful plant cover appropriate for the site has re-established to ensure long-term site stability.
Where to start?

If you are unfamiliar with Instream Works, please use the interactive Introductory flowchart to help guide you through the process.

Glossary

Important words, denoted by blue underlined text are defined in the glossary.

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More information...

See the Supportive Information section at the end of this document for links to other websites and documents.