As part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, substantial work has gone into determining environmental impacts and determining mitigation methods to reduce the impact to the environment. Our goal is to protect the environment, have as little impact as possible and where we do have an impact, to ensure we are returning the land to its original function.
Ultimately, we cannot put the land back exactly the way it was, however, where we disrupt farm land, we will ensure it is returned to farm land, or where we disrupt wetland habitats, we will ensure these are returned to function as they did before construction. We also look for opportunities to leave a legacy for the communities around the pipeline, potentially creating walking trails, cross-country ski trails or other features that enhance the resulting right-of-way for locals to enjoy.
Field studies were completed in 2012 and 2013 all along the proposed pipeline corridor. During these two years, many studies were undertaken, reported on and filed with the National Energy Board (NEB) in late 2013 as part of the Facilities Application. The intent of these studies were to:
- Identify and describe the current biophysical and socio-economic setting of each element in the area where the Project occurs in order to establish the baseline for environmental conditions prior to any construction being carried out
- To determine the possible impacts of construction and operations
- To guide the protection and mitigation methods committed to by Kinder Morgan Canada
These studies cover environmental features such as: wildlife, fisheries, plants, species at risk or species of special status, soils, heritage resources or traditional land use and air and greenhouse gas emissions.
Following the field studies identifying the baseline conditions, a great deal of analysis is conducted to predict the effects associated with the proposed Project, including those that could be caused by construction, operations, decommissioning or abandonment, as well as potential accidents and malfunctions.
Volume 5A of our Facilities Application covers the biophysical studies conducted and the possible effects of construction. Volume 5B of the Facilities Application examines the socio-economic baseline conditions and effects of the Project.
Subsequently Kinder Morgan Canada is required to develop Environmental Protection Plans that describe the mitigation measures and their adequacy for addressing the Project effects. As well, we must indicate how we will ensure that commitments about mitigative measures will be communicated to field staff for implementation.
Volume 6A presents plans for environmental compliance, including our commitment to environmental protection, pre-construction activities, environmental education for construction personnel, inspection and monitoring during construction, and post-construction monitoring. Volume 6B , 6C and 6D presents the environmental protection plans for the pipeline itself, the pipeline facilities and Westridge Marine Terminal, respectively.
Environmental alignment sheets are produced as a means to communicate all elements of the environmental protection plan to the construction personnel while onsite. Volume 6E presents these sheets.