Trans Mountain has loaded marine vessels with petroleum since 1956 without a single spill from tanker operations. The region’s robust marine safety regime is well managed, with important risk controls for all traffic and for oil tankers in particular. Transport Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, Pacific Pilotage Authority and Port of Vancouver establish, implement and monitor regulations and practices for oil tankers. Highly-trained and qualified pilots ensure tankers navigate our local waters safely. Tankers are held to strict internationally-accepted build, manning, maintenance and operating quality standards mandated by the International Maritime Organization and Canadian Shipping Act, and verified by Class Societies. Additionally, marine spill response plans ensure quick action in the event of a spill. Trans Mountain has proposed additional risk controls and enhancements, which build on the current marine safety regime.

Some of these measures include:

  • Laden tanker tug escort will be expanded to cover the entire tanker shipping route through the Strait of Georgia and between Race Rocks and the 12 nautical mile marker to assist with navigation
  • Pilot disembarkation will be extended to take place near Race Rocks further west than the pilot boarding station on Brotchie Ledge in Victoria (pilots have been trained to disembark by helicopter)
  • Enhanced Situational Awareness techniques will be applied that will require:
    • Safety calls by pilots and masters of laden tankers
    • Notices to industry issued by Pacific Pilotage Authority
    • Tactical use of escort tug along shipping route
    • Boating safety engagement and awareness program led by Pacific Pilotage Authority

Find out more about the additional proposed marine safety enhancements.