As part of our ongoing work to refine the route and reduce impacts to people and the environment through a combination of technical and environmental studies, Trans Mountain expects to begin a geotechnical investigation on Burnaby Mountain in the coming weeks.

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 field work is required. Choosing a route through Burnaby Mountain would move this section of the pipeline away from residential areas, and avoid four private properties that the alternate route would cross near the Westridge Marine Terminal. Based on feedback received from community residents, the route through Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area would be the least impactful to the surrounding community.

Trans Mountain remains committed to maintaining the highest standard of environmental protection and understands the environmental sensitivity within the Burnaby Mountain Conservation Area.

There are two options to construct the pipeline through Burnaby Mountain. The first is a technique called Horizontal Direction Drilling (HDD), a proven technology for pipeline crossings of rivers and streams. This is the same technology used in the replacement of the existing Trans Mountain crossing of the Fraser River in 2002. The alternative option is tunneling which uses either a boring machine or conventional practice used in transportation, utility and infrastructure projects.

To determine whether drilling and boring are technically feasible, Trans Mountain needs to assess the geology of the ground underneath the conservation area, since the pipeline would be located deep underground. To further understand the geology, Trans Mountain’s engineers have designed a drilling program consisting of drilling two 300-metre boreholes, six inches in diameter.

The first borehole location will be adjacent to an existing parking lot that requires no clearing, and the second location will be on a natural clearing that minimizes disturbance to vegetation. In addition to choosing appropriate borehole locations, Trans Mountain will reduce disturbance to the natural landscape of Burnaby Mountain by transporting equipment via helicopter from a heli-staging area located in an existing parking lot within the conservation area. At no time will the helicopter land within the conversation area, but instead will retrieve and drop off equipment. We do not anticipate major disruption to users of the recreational area.

Trans Mountain looks forward to working constructively with the City of Burnaby on the Project and has provided detailed information to assist the City in understanding the proposed engineering and environmental studies for the Project. In the event that Trans Mountain is unable to obtain access from the City of Burnaby, the company will be required to rely on Section 73(a) access rights under the National Energy Board Act (NEB Act). Trans Mountain notes that Section 73(a) of the NEB Act establishes the rights of companies to complete surveys and other examinations required by the NEB on lands in order to fix the site of a pipeline.

We are committed to notifying the community and neighbours as we begin and continue work on Burnaby Mountain. Updates to studies will be available on our website.