Guest post: Michael Davies, Senior Director of Marine Development

At Trans Mountain we take our commitment to environmental protection seriously. When speaking with stakeholders about the Expansion Project we heard their desire for the Burrard Inlet to rebound from a century of industrial development. We’ve also heard concerns from residents in the region about increasing development in the Port of Vancouver.

This feedback is one of the reasons why in 2013 our Westridge Marine Terminal joined Green Marine, a transparent voluntary environmental performance program 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.


Our Westridge Marine Terminal has been safely operating on the shoreline of North Burnaby for more than 60 years and continuously promotes and implements the use of best practices. We’re proud that last year we were independently verified at a Green Marine Level 3 in the categories of Greenhouse Gases & Air Pollutants, Spill Prevention and Community Impacts and we increased to a Level 4 in the Environmental Leadership category. This increase was due in part to the implementation of a formal environmental management system (Environmental Protection Program), which includes restrictions on nighttime operations, light pollution minimization measures and waste management procedures.  

In May 2015, we also installed a new ambient noise and air emissions monitoring station that continuously monitors noise, select emissions (such as volatile organic compounds), wind speed and direction, temperature and precipitation. This real-time data is tracked by our internal air quality specialist. Additionally, there are stringent storm water collection, monitoring and reporting procedures in place to ensure no contaminated water is released into the environment.

All ships docking at the terminal are enclosed with an oil spill containment boom while transferring cargo and international tanker best practices (ISGOTT) are actively applied under the oversight of a Loading Master who attends every vessel that calls at Westridge.

In the spirit of continual improvement, we’re working to ensure an expanded marine terminal has a further reduced environmental footprint. This will include a gas monitoring network, including hydrocarbon detectors and reduced sulphur compound (RSC) detectors, which will be installed onsite for early detection of leaks or equipment malfunction. The detection equipment will be integrated with the Westridge Marine Terminal control system to allow for continuous measurement.

Rainwater runoff will be collected from the dock loading platforms, sending and receiving trap areas, piping manifolds, metering area and Vapour Recovery/Vapour Combustion areas. The collected water will be directed through oil/water separators before release and will only be released according to the applicable monitoring and release criteria.

And, in the event more vessels develop the capability for shore power, space will be provided for future installation of shore power facilities.

As a member of Green Marine, must undertake annual self-assessments of its performance at Westridge Marine Terminal and undergo an audit by a Green Marine accredited verifier every two years. The verification results are published annually as part of the Green Marine annual innovation conference and online on Green Marine’s website.