Pipelines are installed within a strip of land known as the right-of-way. Before the right-of-way is selected, an assessment corridor is determined, and studies are undertaken to identify potential routes. More information regarding pipeline corridors can be found on the National Energy Board’s website.
Determining the proposed new route for the expanded pipeline will involve a range of studies along the assessment corridor and community discussions. These will be incorporated into the Facilities Application to the National Energy Board; anticipated to be filed in late 2013.
The pipeline’s registered easement (or operational corridor) is typically 18 metres wide. The assessment study area for rural and Crown Lands areas is 150 metres wide along the existing pipeline, but will vary along the proposed route based on local constraints. This assessment corridor is required to help identify potential environmental impacts, geotechnical conditions, and constructability to ensure the proposed new pipeline can be built and operated safely.
The focus of these assessment studies is to find the best route for the proposed new pipeline so it can be built next to the existing pipeline to minimize construction in any new and undeveloped areas, and to minimize impact to properties. It is important to note that the assessment corridor is for the purposes of environmental and engineering studies and does not reflect the ultimate width or footprint of the proposed construction or new line.
In urban areas, Trans Mountain’s registered easement (or operational corridor) for the pipeline is typically 18 metres wide. For the most part, this operational corridor, as well as temporary working space, is the width of the area that would be studied.
In some areas, it may be necessary to look for options that go beyond the current operational corridor. Alternate routes for the proposed expanded pipeline may be necessary — especially in areas where land use has changed significantly since the pipeline was built nearly 60 years ago. To minimize impacts to the urban landscape and landowners, the proposed route of the new pipeline would follow existing linear infrastructure, such as municipal streets or highway, railway or utility corridors, or in some cases parklands.
Engagement on Routing
In addition to environmental studies, extensive dialogue with all landowners, neighbours, Aboriginal Peoples, stakeholders and communities have begun and will continue to take place along the pipeline route. This is an important part of the process to determine the proposed route of the proposed Trans Mountain Expansion Project.
Have your say on routing in the Talk Trans Mountain forum.