Pipeline safety and protection of the communities and environment where Trans Mountain operates are top priorities. Construction on the expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline could begin in 2017, with the pipeline ready for use in December 2019. Extensive dialogue has taken place with landowners, neighbours, Aboriginal Peoples, communities and other stakeholders and would continue throughout the construction and post-construction phases.
At the beginning of the construction, an easement and any additional temporary workspace required for construction are surveyed along the pipeline corridor. The space required varies, but is normally less than 45 metres in width. This area is cleared of trees and brush. The topsoil is also removed and carefully segregated for future reclamation. Most construction at Trans Mountain’s facility sites, such as terminals or pump stations will occur on existing property or adjacent to existing facility sites. Although each location is different, typically the site is prepared for construction using similar steps as along the pipeline corridor.
From the commencement of the survey to final cleanup, a particular parcel of land along the pipeline corridor would normally be disrupted for one to two months. Construction at facility sites such as terminals and pump stations may take 12 months or more. This timing is subject to location-specific variables, however, every effort is made to minimize impact to landowners and neighbours. In areas where there may be a potential public safety concern, restricted areas are established. Noise, dust, traffic, night lighting and other disturbances are limited to reduce the impact to the public and surrounding area.
Project construction activities will be planned to minimize disturbance and impact to landowners and the community. This will include the use of trenchless construction methods in select locations to minimize potential disruption or environmental impact. Public awareness communications will be undertaken to notify local communities when, where and for how long construction and/or disturbances may take place.
MINIMIZING CONSTRUCTION DISTURBANCE
Trans Mountain will work to minimize disruption to communities by limiting noise, dust, traffic and night lighting during construction. Mitigation strategies are incorporated into Environmental Protection Plans. These plans will continue to be refined based on detailed construction plans and include:
- Lights will be required to enhance worker safety and job site security. Trans Mountain will seek to minimize light disturbance through directional lighting, specialized bulbs and ensuring lights are turned off where practical. In some cases, light will be left on during night hours for security.
- Dust control may include speed control, site watering and use of dust suppressants. Different techniques used in urban, rural and agricultural settings to control and minimize dust created by construction vehicles and activities.
- Traffic Management Plans will be developed based on construction plans and may include specific vehicle routing requirements and prescribed mode of transport of goods and workers to reduce impact to neighbours (e.g., transportation of workers to construction site by bus to reduce individual vehicle traffic).
- Noise Control Plans will be developed to identify techniques to minimize noise effects. Controls will include construction scheduling, equipment selection and maintenance (e.g., low-noise equipment), vehicle operation and the use of enclosures and baffles to reduce sound. These plans will outline commitments to monitor and report on effectiveness of measures implemented.
- Construction will typically occur five to six days per week for 10 to 12 hours during the day. In special circumstances more night-time or weekend hours may be required to complete critical construction activity.
- Trans Mountain will meet or exceed expectations outlined in applicable local and provincial permits and bylaws, where practical.
- Trans Mountain will develop and implement a Worker Code of Conduct (WCC) that aims to maintain high standards of worker conduct to ensure protection of workers, community and environment. The WCC will outline standards for worker behavior. Each general contractor will develop a contractor-specific WCC aligned with the Project WCC. The WCC will include conduct at worksite and in communities outside of work hours. Workers will be asked to sign the WCC prior to beginning employment. Any violation could lead to discipline up to and including termination of employment on the Project. Trans Mountain will monitor worker impacts within communities and will develop and file a socio-economic monitoring plan with the NEB prior to the start of construction.
Trans Mountain will also establish a Community Liaison during construction. The liaison will provide construction-related information along the pipeline corridor, be available to answer questions and address concerns related to construction activities.
Following construction, Trans Mountain's objective is to return the temporary construction space and right-of-way to pre-construction conditions, to the extent possible.
Construction activities and mitigation of impacts are defined in Volumes 4 and 5 of the Facilities Application. Volume 6 includes Environmental Protection Plans that will govern all construction activities.
Learn more about urban and rural pipeline construction spreads with these example illustrations below.