Sturgeon Refinery

Emergency Response

The health, safety, and protection of people and the environment is essential. As a neighbour and member of the community, NWR is committed to being prepared and ready for a swift and orderly response in the event there is an emergency on site or nearby.


The refinery is one of 38 members of North East Region Community Awareness Emergency Response, a local mutual aid organization that trains, plans, and shares best practices for emergency response. Members include local municipalities and industrial companies, who often partake in drills together to hone skills and build relationships. NRCAER operates the region’s UPDATEline, which is a 24/7 automated telephone message service with information about industrial site activities. If you are curious about something you see, hear, or smell, call the UPDATEline at 1.866.653.9959.


NWR’s emergency response capacity consists of dedicated and trained responders whose sole role is preparedness and response. Additionally, refinery operations personnel are trained in fire and rescue as a supplement to their core role. More than 40 personnel make up the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) team that is called upon in the event of an incident to manage the planning and response using NWR’s detailed Emergency Response Plan. This plan helps control and minimize the effects of an emergency both on site and in the surrounding area.

NWR Media Awareness Training conducted by M.D. Bruce & Associates Ltd. on 14 March 2019 at NWR facility. Photo credit: Grant Cree, Photojournalist.


Well established programs and protocols are in place to communicate regularly with local residents, municipalities, media, and others. This includes annual visits to landowners along pipeline routes, involving stakeholders in emergency simulations, and participating in local community open houses to share information. In the event of an incident, timely information is available on our website, Twitter, Facebook, and the UPDATEline.


The emergency response team partakes in drills year-round to ensure capacity and expertise. This includes training within the Emergency Operations Centre using the Incident Command System (ICS) standardized approach to emergency response, in combination with training in the field using simulated incidents such as a tank farm fire (as seen in photo) or severe weather event.


The sitewide alarm is tested every Wednesday at noon and 8 pm as part of emergency preparedness. It may be heard nearby the refinery during these times. The alarm tests last no more than 30 seconds and no action is required.