Safety of community, employees and protection of the environment are our highest priorities. We work hard to minimize impacts to neighbours in the surrounding residential community during operations.

Multiple federal, provincial and regional regulatory agencies are involved in managing air quality related to Trans Mountain's Burnaby Terminal and Westridge Marine Terminal.

With enhanced measures being put in place, nuisance odours are not anticipated from our expanded operations. Despite more active terminal operations in both locations due to the expansion, our emissions management system complies with Metro Vancouver air quality objectives.

Westridge Marine Terminal

At the Westridge Marine Terminal, vapours are produced as oil is loaded into double-hulled tankers. As oil rises in the cargo hold, vapours are expelled from the tanks. Currently, vapours are captured and destroyed in a nearby Vapour Combustion Unit (VCU). With the expansion, enhanced vapour recovery technology will capture nearly all of the vapours and cycle them back into the tankers during loading.

Two new Vapour Recovery Units (VRUs) will collect almost all odorous compounds and volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions from the vapours. When loading one or two vessels, VRU will compress, liquefy and cool the vapours and then re-inject into the vessel being loaded. When loading three vessels at once (which will be less than five per cent of the time) or as a backup to the VRUs during maintenance activity, a new VCU will be in place for occasional use. The new VCU will be similar to the existing VCU at Westridge however will be used less than a quarter of the existing VCU’s current usage. This means that even with more vessels being loaded at the terminal, more emissions won’t be released into the air.

We are working voluntarily with an equipment supplier to also control non-regulated Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) emissions to levels similar to those applicable in California. This is important because VOCs can contribute to ground-level ozone (smog).

The existing VCU will remain in operation during construction and will be decommissioned after the new dock complex begins service.

Read more about our innovative emissions management program at the expanded Westridge Marine Terminal and our commitment to continuous improvement through our participation in the Green Marine Program.

Burnaby Terminal 

The 13 existing oil storage tanks at Burnaby Terminal all have floating roofs and three of the tanks have scrubber systems to reduce odours. The existing scrubber system is based on the results from a comprehensive odour study. To control odours, we place higher-odour products into these tanks. The new tanks at Burnaby Terminal will all include Tank Vapour Absorption Units (TVAUs) to control odours.

More information about air quality studies for the expanded Burnaby Terminal can be found here.