As part of its Facilities Application review process, Trans Mountain has received TERMPOL-related Intervenor Information Requests (IRs) submitted by the National Energy Board (NEB) on behalf of approved Intervenors. Received on February 18, the IRs provide Intervenors with the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about Trans Mountain's TERMPOL Review and its findings. Trans Mountain's responses to the TERMPOL IRs must be filed with the NEB by March 17, 2015.

The TERMPOL (Technical Review Process of Marine Terminal Systems and Transhipment Sites) Review is a voluntary process that focuses on vessel safety and vessel operation safety in Canadian waters along the proposed shipping routes. The review examines vessel characteristics, the proposed routes, navigability, other waterway users and the marine terminal operations associated with vessel operations. It is a technical analysis designed to assess the risks to navigation as well as public and environmental safety associated with shipping and navigation. Trans Mountain conducted a prescribed set of studies and submitted these to the TERMPOL Review Committee (TRC), which is chaired by Transport Canada and includes representatives of other federal agencies including the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Environment Canada.

TERMPOL REVIEW COMMITTEE FINDINGS

After reviewing Trans Mountain’s studies and taking into account Trans Mountain’s commitments, the TRC did not identify regulatory concerns for the tankers, tanker operations, the proposed route, navigability, other waterway users and the marine terminal operations associated with tankers supporting the Project.

The TRC in its reports noted it did not consider the overall increase in marine traffic levels to be an issue; however, it does support additional measures to promote shared safe use of the Project’s preferred shipping route.

In response to the submission, the TRC also identified several findings and recommendations and has proposed actions for Trans Mountain that would provide a high level of safety for tanker operations. Key measures to reduce risk and enhance awareness include:

  • Extended use of tethered and untethered tug escort
  • Extension of the pilot disembarkation zone
  • Safety calls by laden tankers when in transit
  • Guidance on communication between masters and watch-keeping personnel to support strong communication between tankers and their escort tugs
  • Clear guidance to industry on enhancements to the marine safety regime that will impact their operations
  • An engagement and awareness strategy to promote safe navigation and interaction between Project tankers and recreational boaters, fishing vessel operators and operators of small vessels

A complete list of the TRC’s findings and recommendations can be found in the TERMPOL Review Committee report submitted to the National Energy Board on December 11, 2014.

The TERMPOL studies can be found in Volume 8C of the facilities application.