Ontario Court Upholds Ruling Resulting in Trisan Construction’s $20K Fine for Damaging a Pipeline

Industry: Fuels - Oil and Gas Pipelines

Category: Enforcement

Apr 27, 2022


A Schomberg construction and excavating company has been ordered by the Ontario Court of Justice to pay a $20,000 fine, after appealing a May 2019 conviction for damaging a pipeline.

Image shows a legal hammerDuring a construction project for a municipality, a Trisan Construction worker attempted to expose a gas line using a hand shovel and accidentally punctured it, causing gas to escape.

After TSSA laid regulatory charges, Trisan Construction was convicted and appealed the Court’s ruling. The Court ultimately held that Trisan was not duly diligent when excavating around the pipeline and relied on an outdated locate.

The appeal, which was launched in 2019, adjourned several times due to court closures and delays caused by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. When a decision was issued  in February 2022, the Court upheld the trial court’s conviction under section 10 of Ontario Regulation 210/01 of the Technical Standards and Safety Act, 2000, which prohibits interfering with or damaging a pipeline, and sentence imposed by the trial court, a fine of $20,000.

“Piercing a gas line is a significant risk to public safety, as it can result in explosions, damage, injury and death,” said Sam Sadeghi, Statutory Director, Fuels Safety Program, TSSA. “That’s why Ontario has stringent laws around pipeline safety, including rules to obtain a valid locate before breaking ground.”

TSSA reminds the public that any excavation work must comply with Ontario’s safety laws, including obtaining a valid pipeline locate before breaking ground and not using mechanical equipment while digging within one metre of a pipeline. Free locates can be obtained from Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255, or by visiting www.on1call.com. Any damage and/or subsequent release of gas should be immediately reported to the Ministry of Environment’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 or by contacting TSSA toll-free at 1-877-682-8772.

Full details about the Trisan Construction trial are available in the court file.