Talk Trans Mountain
Thank you for participating in our ongoing online discussions about the proposed pipeline route for the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
The feedback from community engagement along with comprehensive research, routing, environmental and engineering studies will all come together for Trans Mountain’s Facilities Application to the National Energy Board, to be filed in late 2013. Early in 2014, we will begin collecting feedback about the application content. Register now to be notified when these opportunities are available.
The Facilities Application will include the results of the studies and engagement activities and will show a proposed pipeline corridor for the project and in some cases multiple alternatives.
There are many ways to ask questions and continue the conversation about the project. You can contact us by email, phone, mail or on twitter. Our contact details are here. Or you can ask us a question using the Q&A tab below.
The following links reload the page with different content below.
We want to hear from you and to ensure you are informed about the project topics that most interest you. If you have a question, please post it here and we will get back to you with an answer.
Regarding the twinning of the pipeline in the Westsyde area of Kamloops, B.C. There was talk of the proposed new pipeline being placed west of the current pipeline in this area-did this come to fruition? If so, could the existing pipe line in this neighborhood also be placed west of its current position? This would eliminate any pipe lines in this now heavily populated residential area. We moved into this area, not knowing about the pipeline, and would be relieved to have it removed from our neighborhood. Thank you for your reply.at 28 Nov 2013, 6:48pm
The proposed route in the Westsyde area has not yet been confirmed. Both the Westsyde neighbourhood and west alternative route options are still being considered. The route to the west includes a section of the Lac du Bois Protected Area as well as some crown land and private properties. We are currently working through the BC Parks application process to consider the placement of the new pipeline in Lac du Bois, but we won’t know the decision on that application for some time yet.
If the Lac du Bois application is not successful, the proposed pipeline route will be through the Westsyde neighbourhood. You can see the proposed route through Westsyde here http://talk.transmountain.com/document/show/370.
Kinder Morgan is not considering moving the existing pipeline in Westsyde, or anywhere along the pipeline corridor at this time. We will continue to operate the existing Trans Mountain pipeline system as it exists today, in its existing location.
To ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of our pipelines, we use a multi-layered approach to pipeline safety that encompasses integrity management, damage prevention and emergency response programs. All these measures are designed to support the continued safe and reliable operation of our pipelines. For more information on pipeline integrity management, please visit www.transmountain.com/pipeline-integrity-management.TransMountain at 29 Nov 2013, 3:22pm
You have not discussed the after installation matenance and continued protection of the pipeline, as continous monitoring of Cathodic protection levels, perodic depth of cover surveys on river crossings, ectat 19 Nov 2013, 1:26pm
Through operating the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline, we have established a multi-layered approach to pipeline safety that encompasses integrity management, damage prevention and emergency response programs, to ensure continued safe and reliable operations. We have a team dedicated to preventing damage and detailed emergency response plans for all our facilities. The pipeline is monitored 24/7 at a control centre equipped with sophisticated computerized sensing and control systems and we have automatic leak detection alarm systems, automatic shut off devices and devices that monitor the internal condition of the pipe.
Should the proposed expansion project be approved it would also be subject to the same rigorous maintenance and protection standards as the existing pipeline.
You can learn more about how we operate and maintain our pipeline at http://www.transmountain.com/operating-our-pipeline.Greg at 25 Nov 2013, 11:33am
What does the statement mean that Canada is a signatory to international agreements on tanker ships being inspected by other countries. Does this mean that Canada recognizes inspections from other countries and therefore exempts these ships from Canadian inspection?at 14 Nov 2013, 9:56pm
This means that Canada has signed and agreed to a certain set of standards.
The international Port State Control agreements, to which Canada is a signatory, require Transport Canada to inspect foreign vessels. Vessels that do not meet safety standards are detained until their deficiencies have been corrected. Canada has its own set of requirements and inspection schedules, which are explained on the Port State Control page, here.
More information about annual inspections and Port State Control can be found on the Tanker Safety and Spill Prevention page on Transport Canada’s website.Mike at 21 Nov 2013, 10:46am
How can you possibly reassure me that there will not be a disastrous spill ?at 13 Nov 2013, 7:29pm
While there are no guarantees, Trans Mountain has worked hard to develop a mature suite of programs to maximize the safety of the pipeline. It was while performing regular maintenance that we found this leak.
These pipeline safety practices focus on preventing pipeline failures and minimizing their impact. They are all part of what is known as a Pipeline Integrity Management program. This program identifies all of the hazards that have the potential to affect the safety of the pipeline system and ensures that control measures are implemented to prevent or mitigate the occurrence and potential impact of each hazard.
Additionally, we have plans to ensure we are able to respond in the event of an incident like this one. Emergency response plans are constantly being updated to keep them current. The plans are location specific, identify locations of emergency response materials and equipment, and are regularly practiced through field deployment exercises. Because of this planning, we are able to be quickly contain any spilled material and immediately begin clean up and remediation.
As part of an ongoing commitment to safety and environmental protection, Trans Mountain takes responsibility for the cleanup and remediation of spills and we work with pre-qualified and trained consultants and contractors to ensure any spill is cleaned up as quickly as possible while ensuring the safety of the public and minimizing impacts to the environment.TransMountain at 15 Nov 2013, 2:46pm
Given that much of the opposition to the overland route has been centred on spill risk why hasn't Kinder Morgan proposed a larger twining line capable of transporting both existing oil and projected oil volumes with an end game to removing the existing 60 year old line?at 1 Nov 2013, 8:38pm
With a strong focus on regular maintenance, the application of the latest technology, and sound operating practices, the Trans Mountain Pipeline has an infinite lifespan.
To ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, we use a multi-layered approach to pipeline safety that encompasses integrity management, damage prevention and emergency response programs. We have a team dedicated to preventing damage and detailed emergency response plans for all our facilities. The pipeline is monitored 24/7 at a control centre equipped with sophisticated computerized sensing and control systems and we have automatic leak detection alarm systems, automatic shut off devices and devices that monitor the internal condition of the pipe.
You can learn more about how we operate and maintain our pipeline at http://www.transmountain.com/operating-our-pipeline.John M at 8 Nov 2013, 12:14pm
As a resident of Michigan, I am horrified to read your answer to the question of cleaning up dilbit. In fact, you have no way of doing it, as was shown in the Kalamazoo spill. Also, you have no way of imagining that spills will not occur, as even with present controls, human error is rampant, and (reported) spills are averaging about 300 a year. "Don't worry, we can handle it" is not at all reassuring. How specifically will you be able to improve on methods and procedures presently in place to the point where dilbit transport is safe for the water and soil?at 31 Oct 2013, 8:48am
The Trans Mountain Pipeline has been transporting petroleum products for 60 years and diluted bitumen for more than 20 years.
Trans Mountain does have experience successfully cleaning up a dilbit spill on water. Conventional clean up methods (booms, skimmers, etc.) were used to clean up Albian Heavy Synthetic (AHS) from the Burrard Inlet during the 2007 Westridge spill. Approximately 95% (210m3) of the released oil was recovered. Ongoing monitoring of marine plant and animal life in the affected area has shown very good recovery from the spill. More information about the spill and clean-up can be found here , as well as a five-year summary of effects here .
Emergency response plans are constantly being updated to keep them current. The plans are location specific, identify locations of emergency response materials and equipment, and are regularly practiced through field deployment exercises. You can learn more about how the Trans Mountain Pipeline is operated and maintained on the Operating and Maintaining Our Pipeline page .
You can also view a previously asked question about shipping diluted bitumen here .TransMountain at 31 Oct 2013, 2:44pm
Updates on the Kalamazoo spill cleanup and a MSDS for dilbit indicate that it is heavier than water and defies cleanup using conventional surface response methods (booms, skimmers) even in the more amenable Michigan environment. How will you be able to clean up a spill of dilbit especially in remote and rugged mountain terrain?at 4 Oct 2013, 2:35pm
Any product moved in the pipeline must meet Kinder Morgan Canada’s tariff requirements which include the following limitations on product qualities:
- a maximum temperature of 38 C
- a maximum density of 940 kg/m3 (specific gravity of 0.94)
- a maximum viscosity of 350 cSt (centistokes) at Reference Temperature
- maximum impurities (bottom sediments and water) of 0.5% of volume
- maximum Reid Vapour Pressure of 103 kPa (kilopascals)
Additional research is taking place to quantify how the diluted bitumen reacts over time in water, with wave action, with fast-moving currents, with different sediment levels and with various other factors. You can learn more about Petroleum Liquids here .
The most critical and responsible emergency preparedness strategy is to prevent a spill from occurring at all . However, in the case of a spill, Trans Mountain is prepared to respond quickly with detailed emergency procedures and trained professionals.
Emergency response plans are constantly being updated to keep them current. The plans are location specific, identify locations of emergency response materials and equipment, and are regularly practiced through field deployment exercises. Emergency Response Training is conducted 20 – 25 times per year. The training includes table top exercises, equipment deployment and classroom learning. The deployment exercises are conducted in varying scenarios, including remote locations, in all weather conditions, including snow and ice.TransMountain at 8 Oct 2013, 2:17pm
I would like to know if Kinder Morgan is currently piping any diluted bitumen or any product similar to it and putting it onto tankers to ship out of the Port of Vancouver. If so, I would like to know when this product was first shipped, and what plans are in place to clean up a spill of this toxic product in the port waters. Also, please specify the exact chemical makeup of these products (including the diluent).at 29 Sep 2013, 12:59pm
Tankers have loaded diluted bitumen since the late 1980’s from Trans Mountain’s Westridge Marine Terminal. Transporting diluted bitumen is as safe as transporting other types of crude oil, as indicated in several reports found on the Diluted Bitumen Information page .
Since its inception in the 1950’s, tanker operations from Westridge have been conducted without any oil spills from tankers. We are dedicated to continuing to operate safely and without incident but if an oil spill should occur in the marine environment, multiple organizations quickly take co-ordinated action to mitigate public and environmental impacts.
Transport Canada requires that all large vessels calling in Canada and all oil handling terminals must have a contract with a certified spill response organization, on the west coast this is Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC).
The Canadian Coast Guard is responsible for monitoring the response and ensuring that it takes place in an efficient manner. WCMRC provides response equipment and personnel trained specifically in responding to oil spills. WCMRC is funded by industry through a tariff charged on petroleum cargos handled in west coast ports. On WCMRC’s website, in the FAQ section you’ll find information about their plans and experience in responding and cleaning up various products.
In terms of your question about product makeup and diluents, each product has a different makeup, but must meet the specifications of our pipeline. Diluent is light crude, such as synthetic crude (partially refined bitumen) or condensate (light oil recovered through natural gas production). Synthetic crude and condensate on their own have been produced and transported by pipeline for decades. The website www.crudemonitor.ca has very detailed lists of the properties and makeup of Canadian products based on recent samples and also looking at 1 and 5 year averages.Mike at 2 Oct 2013, 1:32pm
How deep will the new pipeline be buried where it goes under the Fraser River? What is the depth of the existing pipeline?at 28 Sep 2013, 11:16pm
The existing 24-inch Trans Mountain pipeline across the Fraser River was installed in 2003 using horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The depth of cover below the riverbed is at least 25 metres.
When looking at river crossings for the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, we take into consideration location specific geotechnical conditions, construction techniques and the thickness and coatings on the pipeline, valve locations and other measures that can help protect sensitive environmental areas.
The final depth of cover for the proposed new 36-inch pipeline will be determined during the detailed designed and engineering phase. However, as the proposed new crossing is at a different location from the existing 24-inch pipeline, the design will take into account the river profile and geotechnical conditions, as well as the diameter of the pipe which also affects pipeline profile. If horizontal directional drilling is used, the depth of cover will be a minimum of 10 metres below the deepest part of the river.TransMountain at 2 Oct 2013, 9:19am
Has anything been decided about re-routing the pipeline from the area in southwest Edmonton where the pipeline runs within feet of houses in the Royal Gardens and Duggan neighbourhoods?at 19 Sep 2013, 7:40am
Both Royal Gardens and Duggan are located along the existing Trans Mountain right-of-way.
We recognize that extensive urban development has been built around the existing Trans Mountain Pipeline right-of-way since it was constructed in the 1950s.
To minimize impact on urban development, we are proposing to route the Trans Mountain expansion via the South Transportation and Utility Corridor (TUC). The existing Trans Mountain Pipeline will continue to operate in its current location. Both the existing and the proposed pipelines will be part of the same monitoring and integrity management programs.
A map of the proposed project can be found here.TransMountain at 23 Sep 2013, 10:46am