Over the past 60 years, regulations pertaining to spills have evolved significantly. Trans Mountain has always been at the forefront of these changes, often exceeding regulations and standards.
In the event of a spill or the discovery of contamination, Trans Mountain works with the National Energy Board to follow the process specified in the Remediation Process Guide. This process includes the development of an Initial Cleanup Plan, a Remedial Action Plan, and finally, a Remediation Closure Report. The National Energy Board and other agencies, affected stakeholders, and Aboriginal groups review these plans and reports as the remediation process unfolds. Final approval and closure will be granted by the National Energy Board once the remediation has been completed successfully.
In some situations, it is not possible to remove or fully remediate the impacts of a spill. These situations may occur due to limited access to the area or in situations when trying to remediate the area will result in more harm (disturbance/damage) than good. In these situations, a Risk Management Plan will be developed and a Long Term Monitoring Program will be implemented to ensure that contamination is not migrating (moving) and is not a threat or risk to the public or environment. As with the remediation process, the National Energy Board and other agencies or affected stakeholders and Aboriginal groups will be involved in the assessment of risk and development of a Long Term Monitoring Program.
Remediation cleanup criteria have been established by both federal and provincial agencies. As a federally regulated pipeline system, Trans Mountain refers to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment, Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines for cleanup criteria.
Trans Mountain also supplies the National Energy Board with an annual list of any spills and leaks. The National Energy Board prepares a performance report roughly every three years. This provides an overall picture of pipeline performance throughout Canada compared to the rest of the world. In all cases, Canadian performance ranks at the very top. This report can be viewed on the National Energy Board site (2011 and 2008).