Over the past two years, Trans Mountain has been undertaking fieldwork and studies to help assess the proposed pipeline corridor between Edmonton, AB and Burnaby, BC. Trans Mountain would like to be able to tell residents of Burnaby where the pipeline route will go and in order to do so, further on-the-ground fieldwork is required.

The work will take place at various locations around Burnaby; the work on and around Burnaby Mountain will help determine the feasibility of routing a 2-km section of the proposed pipeline between the Burnaby Terminal and the Westridge Marine Terminal through Burnaby Mountain Park.

Trans Mountain believes the proposed route through Burnaby Mountain is the best option based on preliminary indications and on the feedback gathered through engagement with local stakeholders. Routing through Burnaby Mountain would minimize traffic disruption during construction and avoid four private homeowner properties the pipeline would cross near the Westridge Marine Terminal and mean no homeowners in Burnaby would be directly impacted.

In July 2014, Trans Mountain filed a notice under National Energy Board (NEB) Act Section 73 to access City of Burnaby lands in order to conduct engineering and environmental studies for the proposed pipeline route in the Burnaby, including the Burnaby Mountain area. On August 19, the NEB confirmed Trans Mountain’s Section 73 rights.

About the Work

Project representatives will be temporarily accessing Burnaby lands to do survey and geotechnical work between August 27 and September 30, 2014.

The work will consist of two types of investigations:

1. Environmental Field Studies

The work includes several categories of studies. Most involve observation but a few include minor surface disruption (e.g. with a hand auger or shovel). Where possible, access will be on foot and on existing road or pathways to minimize environmental disturbance. This work will be used to determine environmental sensitivities, assess feasibility of routing and assist in developing potential mitigation strategies. Surveys include:

  • General Field Study
  • Watercourse Assessment
  • Groundwater Assessment
  • Wildlife Survey
  • Terrestrial Ecosystem Mapping Survey
  • Vegetation Survey
  • Soil survey
  • Archaeological Survey
  • Traditional Knowledge Studies

2. Geotechnical Assessment

In order to help determine whether routing the pipeline through Burnaby Mountain is feasible and which potential construction methodology would be most suitable, Trans Mountain plans to do geotechnical assessments, including drilling geotechnical boreholes in the Burnaby Mountain area.

  • A portable drill rig will be brought-in by helicopter and assembled on-site.
  • Drilling is planned for 24 hours per day for 8-10 days.
  • Noise levels generated by this work are not anticipated to exceed Burnaby City bylaw limits.

The two sites chosen for the geotechnical boreholes are located in an existing parking lot and a natural clearing in order to minimize disturbance to vegetation.

However, some minor brush and tree removal for safety purposes will be required. Trans Mountain will be voluntarily complying with the City of Burnaby bylaws to replace or provide compensation for any trees removed.

This investigation will form part of a wider geological study with Simon Fraser University, to better understand the subsurface geology of Burnaby Mountain area. This wider study is sponsored by Trans Mountain and students will use the results of the drilling program in their studies. The results will also be available for public use.

What to Expect?

  • Neighbours and users of the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area may notice some additional foot and vehicle traffic and minimal, localized noise from these fieldwork activities.
  • The facilities and the local restaurant around the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area will remain open throughout the fieldwork.
  • While the helicopter is operating, access to portions of the trail and road may be limited temporarily (10 minutes at a time) to ensure safety.