The Terminal Today

Westridge Marine Terminal joined Green Marine, a voluntary environmental program, in 2013 to benchmark and commit to continuous year-over-year improvement in the terminal’s environmental performance. Green Marine encourages participants to go beyond regulatory compliance and to implement concrete and measurable actions to reduce their environmental footprint.

Trans Mountain has a management system that promotes the use of best practices and measurably understand environmental impacts. In 2014, Trans Mountain’s Westridge Marine Terminal was independently verified at a Green Marine Level 3 rating in all categories applicable to terminal operators. Here are some of the initiatives implemented at the terminal to reduce the environmental footprint:

  • A comprehensive study was conducted on the combustion efficiency of the Vapour Combustion Unit (VCU) at the terminal and the results were incorporated into revised standard operating procedures for the VCU. Trans Mountain will conduct annual combustion efficiency testing of the Westridge Marine Terminal existing VCU.
  • All ships docking at the terminal are enclosed with an oil spill containment boom while transferring cargo.
  • Water that accumulates around the storage tank area is captured in secondary containment before being visually inspected and passed through oil detection instrumentation.
  • Emergency response equipment is on-site and all employees are regularly trained in spill response.
  • Maintenance work conducted on dock machinery (e.g., cranes) is done with spill protection measures in place. Additionally, the entire dock area is impermeable and fitted with scupper plugs.
  • All foreshore areas are inspected daily in order to quickly identify any potential issues.
  • International tanker best practices (ISGOTT) are actively applied under the oversight of a Loading Master who attends every vessel that calls at Westridge.
  • All ship’s masters docking at the terminal are briefed on noise reduction and other local requirements.
  • Installation of a new ambient air monitoring station (2015).
  • Terminal employees are encouraged to use public transportation.
  • The idling of vehicle engines is limited through a no-idling policy.

Terminal Expansion

Trans Mountain is proposing an expansion by completing the twinning of its existing 1,150-kilometre pipeline between Edmonton, Alberta and Burnaby, British Columbia. As part of the proposed Project, Trans Mountain will replace the existing single berth at Westridge Marine Terminal with three new berths, each capable of accommodating up to Aframax-size vessels. There will also be one new utility dock for tugs, boom boats and emergency response vessels.

Tanker traffic calling at Westridge Marine Terminal is expected to increase from approximately five Aframax-size tankers per month to 34 tankers per month.

Terminal design features that reduce its environmental footprint include:

  • The dock is located and designed so as to minimize its footprint and need for dredging.
  • Each berth will have its own spill containment boom that will continue to be deployed around every vessel.
  • Emission impacts will be mitigated with the installation of:
    • Two new Vapour Recovery Units (VRUs) to recover and recycle the majority of volatile hydrocarbon vapours displaced from vessels during crude oil loading. These units will greatly reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC) and odour impacts compared to current operations because they do not combust (or burn) volatile hydrocarbon vapours but collect them for reinjection back into the vessels being loaded.
    • One new Vapour Combustion Unit (VCU) to replace the current VCU – the new unit will be for occasional use when three tankers are being loaded simultaneously (less than three per cent of the time)
    • A gas monitoring network, including hydrocarbon detectors on the VCU and VRUs, and reduced sulphur compound (RSC) detectors around the site, will be installed for early detection of any leaks or equipment malfunction. The detection equipment will be integrated with the Westridge Marine Terminal control system to allow for continuous measurement of the performance of the VCU and VRUs to ensure they are operating efficiently and effectively.Trans Mountain will conduct annual combustion efficiency testing of the Westridge Marine Terminal proposed VCU.
  • Space will be provided for possible future installation of shore power facilities (only a small fraction of the worldwide tanker fleet can currently use shore power and these are not expected to call at Westridge).
  • All marine-related soil and liquid waste will be managed in accordance with the Canadian Shipping Act and BC Ministry of Environment requirements:
    • To reduce risk from invasive species, ballast water management will follow international requirements in accordance with the Canadian Ballast Water Control and Management Regulations (SOR/2011-237).
    • Rainwater run-off will be collected from the dock loading platforms, sending and receiving trap areas, piping manifolds, metering area and VRU/VCU areas. The
    • collected water will be directed through oil/water separators before release.

Terminal Construction

Construction of the expanded Westridge Marine Terminal will include the installation of approximately 200 piles. The extension of the foreshore will be necessary to accommodate new piping and equipment, including metering systems, dock sending traps, dock delivery lines, VRUs and VCU, electrical systems, fire-water and foam systems, storm-water management systems, and control building and spill response equipment.

  • Habitat offset (in the form of new habitat created) will be in accordance with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO requirements. Trans Mountain is exploring the creation of five intertidal rock fish reefs and has initiated a consultation process to determine the best approach to its habitat offset program at the Westridge Marine Terminal.
  • Construction mitigation measures will include the use of turbidity curtains, as required, to manage sediment impacts to local water quality.
  • “Bubble curtains” may also be used, as necessary, to help mitigate the local underwater noise effects. The bubbles act as a barrier and reduce the propagation of shock waves through the water from pile-driving. A hydrophone will be used to monitor the pressure levels from pile-driving (not to exceed 30 kPa pressure).