On November 29, 2016, the Government of Canada granted approval for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, subject to 157 conditions from the National Energy Board (NEB). The conditions apply during various stages of the Project’s lifecycle, including before construction, during construction and during operation of the pipeline system, and are designed to reduce possible risks identified during the application process. These Project-specific conditions are in addition to existing regulations, codes and standards, and our commitments, and ensure the pipeline system is planned, built and operated safely.

Many of these conditions are in response to community and Intervenor feedback gathered through the regulatory review process and from the many residents who participated in our open houses, workshops and online opportunities. In addition to overarching conditions, there are a series of conditions addressing specific technical issues. Here we take a closer look at the 34 conditions directly related to marine.

Marine vessel traffic is regulated by government agencies, such as Transport Canada, Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, Pacific Pilotage Authority and the Canadian Coast Guard, under a broad and detailed regulatory framework. The NEB’s regulatory oversight of the Project reaches from Edmonton to Burnaby, up to and including the Westridge Marine Terminal.

The marine conditions from the NEB cover a variety of aspects, including:

  • Emergency preparedness and response
  • Marine air and greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Protection of marine mammals;
  • Project-related marine shipping safety measures; and

Since 1956 we’ve loaded vessels from our Westridge Marine Terminal without a single spill from tanker operations. The region’s already robust marine safety regime is well managed, with important risk controls for all traffic, for oil tankers in particular, and meets global standards. With a commitment to continuous improvement, work is already underway to meet the NEB’s conditions, including:

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Condition 53 – Fugitive Emissions Management Plan for Westridge

One of the most important elements of the expansion of shipping operations at Westridge Marine Terminal is an innovative new system to control emissions during ship loading. The system will ensure compliance with Metro Vancouver’s air quality objectives. Read more about the new system here.


Condition 91 – Plan for implementing, monitoring and complying with marine shipping-related commitments

Condition 133 – Marine shipping-related commitments

Condition 144 – Ongoing implementation of marine shipping-related commitments

As part of our Application to the NEB we’ve identified and proposed additional measures  building on the current marine safety regime and further mitigate risk due to increased tanker traffic. Once implemented, they are expected to raise the level of care and safety in the region to well above globally-accepted shipping standards. A number of these measures are already underway. Read more about the marine safety enhancements already underway in local waters here.

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Condition 131 – Marine Public Outreach Program

Trans Mountain actively supports the Pacific Pilotage Authority’s (PPA) work to raise awareness about small vessel safety in the marine community. This outreach campaign informs boat operators — everyone from kayakers and wind surfers to sport fishing guides and commercial fishermen — about their responsibilities for safe navigation in and around shipping routes and the need for safety when large ships are moving through. Read more about this joint campaign here.


Condition 132 – Marine Mammal Protection Program

Substantial work has gone into identifying potential environmental impacts and mitigation methods to reduce the impact to the marine environment as a result of the Project. Our efforts include supporting the Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program, a Vancouver Fraser Port Authority led initiative aimed at better understanding and managing the impact of shipping activities on at-risk whales throughout the southern coast of British Columbia. Read more about the ECHO program here.


Condition 134 – Updated Tanker Acceptance Standard

Tankers are held to strict internationally accepted build, manning, maintenance and operating quality standards mandated by the International Maritime Organization and Canadian Shipping Act and verified by Class Societies. You can read more about tanker safety here.

Marine Conditions

Conditions to be completed prior to construction

Conditions to be completed prior to operation

Conditions to be completed during operation

  • Westridge Marine Terminal: 109, 141
  • Project-related marine shipping: 134, 144
  • Marine mammals: 151

The Government of Canada will make its decision on the Project in December 2016.