Last month, Trans Mountain conducted an emergency response equipment deployment on the North Thompson River, near Blackpool, BC. Practicing response plans are part of our ongoing commitment to safety and emergency preparedness.

The two-day exercise included dry-land and on-water training for our emergency management personnel who were able to practice and enhance their boom deployment skills and confirm the Geographic Response Plan at the Ferry Road Boat Launch in Blackpool.

This pre-planned exercise simulated a scenario involving a response during high-flow river conditions on the North Thompson River. During the exercise, the river was near maximum water levels, flowing quickly at 11 kilometres an hour as result of spring thaw, a seasonal condition commonly known as freshet.

Conducting the exercise in these river conditions allows first responders to practice adapting to real seasonal challenges. More than 50 people participated from various regulatory agencies, First Nations and local response agencies including the National Energy Board, the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee, the BC Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, Blackpool Fire Department and Clearwater Fire Department, along with representation from Simpcw First Nation and T’kemlups te Secwepemc First Nations.  

Emergency response exercises are conducted at many locations along the pipeline route on a regular basis to ensure we are prepared to respond quickly and efficiently using our Emergency Response Plans. Pipeline companies are required by regulators to have an Emergency Management Program that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates conditions during the unlikely event of an emergency. Trans Mountain conducts more than 20 exercises each year.