Trans Mountain owns and maintains a large fleet of emergency response equipment strategically placed at various points along the Trans Mountain Pipeline. The equipment ensures we are able to respond to any emergency in a timely manner in accordance with the planning standard.

Planning Standard

The planning standard establishes the desired response outcomes and forms the basis for our emergency response plans, procedures and processes.

The planning standard:

  • Outlines the hazard assessment process, which includes a hazard listing (spill, fire, explosion)
  • Outlines the Worst Case Discharge Calculation method
  • Specifies the quantity and location of response equipment and personnel needed to respond within maximum target response times
  • Defines maximum target response times to be used for response planning to warrant a prompt, safe and effective response to an emergency

Maximum target times are based, in part, on a variety of regulatory requirements. Real response times are reviewed after any event requiring activation of the Emergency Response Plan to confirm we have resources and equipment placed in the appropriate location to meet the maximum target response times.

Current emergency response capabilities and equipment are strategically placed to meet the planning standard and include:

  • Early detection systems/alarms and firefighting equipment for fires and spills (storage tanks and pump stations)
  • Personnel and company vehicles to respond to spill and fires (terminal storage tanks, pump stations and right-of-way)
  • Oil Spill Containment and Response (OSCAR) units strategically placed to ensure rapid response along the right-of-way and at facilities

Hazard Assessment and Worst Case Discharge Calculations

Trans Mountain implements a Hazard Assessment Process in order to generate an all encompassing hazard inventory list. This list identifies potential emergency conditions that result from hazards associated with the Trans Mountain Pipeline. Emergency Conditions may be defined as the result of a hazard negatively impacting people, property and/or the environment. Through the evaluation of hazards and their subsequent consequences, the Emergency Management Department develops and maintains plans and procedures to assist in mitigation, planning and response efforts for all real or potential emergencies.

The hazard inventory list is reviewed on an annual basis to ensure that new hazards are identified and evaluated against their potential emergency condition. This assessment is also used to determine if existing plans and procedures continue to meet the response requirements for all identified hazards and their associated risks.

To determine equipment placement and response requirements the worst case discharge volume is used. The worst case discharge volume is calculated based on the highest volume for each response zone using the highest volume for each of the following criteria:

  • The maximum time to detect the release, plus the maximum shutdown response time multiplied by the maximum flow rate per hour, plus the largest line drainage volume after shutdown
  • The maximum historic discharge from the pipeline, or
  • The largest single breakout tank or battery of breakout tanks, without a secondary containment system

Response Equipment

Emergency response equipment, such as spill drums with absorbent material to assist in immediate cleanup of any local spill, is available at all facilities. Other emergency resources, such as river boats and response trailers, are placed at strategic locations along the Trans Mountain Pipeline and can be mobilized on a moment’s notice

OSCAR trailer – Oil Spill Containment and Recovery (OSCAR) trailers are located strategically at various points along the Trans Mountain Pipeline. These trailers contain various tools and spill response equipment ranging from absorbent materials and skimmers, to booms and other cleanup tools specific to the area. To learn more about OSCAR trailers click here.

Rapid response trailer - Rapid Response trailers are similar to OSCAR trailers, however they are smaller (typically under 30 feet long), can be towed behind a half-ton or three-quarter ton truck and are more maneuverable in tight locations. Rapid response trailers have containment, recovery and storage equipment on board.

Boom trailer - Boom trailers vary in size and primarily house containment boom, as well as various supplemental equipment to assist with the deployment of boom, such as additional rope.

Decontamination trailer – - Decontamination trailers are sized to be towed by half-ton or three-quarter ton trucks and contain equipment to facilitate the cleaning of personnel and small equipment. The use of decontamination trailers ensure when personnel leave an impacted area they are not tracking contaminates with them. The trailer includes wash stations, pools, tents, detergent, hand sprayers and other equipment necessary to decontaminate people and small equipment.

Winter response equipment Winter response equipment is specialized equipment designed to be used in ice and snow. Winter response equipment can be stored in one of two ways, either in a dedicated winter response trailer or within an OSCAR trailer. Winter response equipment includes specialized ice cutting devices (ice auger, chainsaw), ice rescue equipment, specialized ice lifting devices and additional rehabilitation supplies. Personal protective equipment and safety equipment that would be useful during a cold weather response, such as blankets, heaters, winter liners for hard hats, are also included.

Response boats – Trans Mountain owns and maintains a number of boats along the pipeline route to ensure response actions can be carried out on rivers and lakes in the areas where a spill could potentially impact those water bodies. Response boats are jet drive boats that range in size from 18 feet to 24 feet and allow for response in all expected water environments, including shallow water.

Miscellaneous response equipment – Trans Mountain owns and maintains additional response equipment mainly related to fire incidents at our terminal sites. This equipment can be used during spill incidents for various reasons, including vapour mitigation. The equipment includes wildfire response trailers, foam cannons, fire hose trailers, fire foam trailers, fire bladder trailers, fire water pump and a fire truck.

Response Equipment Map

View a larger version of the map here.

Response Times

Trans Mountain has a planning standard to identify the maximum times by which specific activities are anticipated to occur. By having the response time within the planning standard, we are able to strategically locate people and equipment to ensure a prompt response to any event involving the Trans Mountain Pipeline. These response times are for planning purposes only and do not act as target times. We respond to all incidents immediately, as soon we know about a potential incident or at the confirmation of an incident. We review response times after any event requiring activation of the Emergency Response Plans to ensure they are adequate and effective. Response times are divided into six response targets and are measured from the time an emergency is confirmed.

ActivityResponse Time
Confirmed Emergency – Shutdown of OperationsImmediate
Internal Emergency Response (TAS) conference call30 Minutes
Initial Site Safety Assessment1 Hour

Emergency Response Equipment on-site

Emergency Response Equipment deployed

Incident Command Post established

2 Hours

6 Hours

6 Hours

Advanced Response Equipment12 Hours
Additional Equipment as needed24+ Hours