Guest post: Lexa Hobenshield, Stakeholder Engagement

Lexa works with communities along the pipeline right-of-way to inform them about the Project and make sure their concerns and feedback are incorporated into the Project. Learn more about her and her role with the Project here.

Trans Mountain knows the Sardis Vedder Aquifer is a resource for the residents of Chilliwack, and we share the value the community places on this important water source.

Through the experience gained over 60 years of operations, we’re confident we can mitigate risks to the aquifer from our Expansion Project, and we have a proven track record in operating the existing pipeline across aquifers.

As part of our Groundwater Management Plan, potential impacts have been evaluated and mitigation strategies have been established for all phases of the Project. We’re required by the National Energy Board (NEB) to protect the aquifer, and prior to beginning operations, groundwater monitoring plans will be implemented in order to fulfill NEB Condition 130.

To address feedback from stakeholders, we’re taking extra steps to treat the Sardis Vedder aquifer as a watercourse crossing by using extra heavy walled pipe, adding an additional isolation valve and using biodegradable hydraulic fluids in machinery for construction within the aquifer area – measures that exceed already stringent regulatory requirements.

To protect the pipe during operations, we’ll continue to allocate extensive resources to our pipeline integrity program, which identifies and repairs potential problems with the pipe before a pipeline leak can occur. And, we’re enhancing our Emergency Management Program to meet the needs of the expanded system. We continually assess new and emerging technologies to ensure we’re applying best practices to protect the pipe.

We completed extensive routing studies in Chilliwack and considered different routes. We determined the best option is to follow our existing right-of-way.

Trans Mountain proposed using a Horizontal Directional Drill (HDD) construction method through two urban neighbourhoods to minimize impacts to these landowners from surface disruption. Because of input from stakeholders, Trans Mountain has now decided on open-trench construction.

Although this will temporarily inconvenience landowners during construction, Trans Mountain remains committed to maintaining the highest standard of environmental protection and will fully restore the disturbed land to its original condition.

We’re confident the proactive and mature suite of programs we’ve developed over the past 60 years will maximize the safety of the pipeline system, enhance environmental stewardship and mitigate any potential issues.

  • Learn more about our Groundwater Management Plan here.
  • Learn more about our construction plans in Chilliwack here.