As spring and warm weather arrives, melting snow causes rivers to rise and flooding can occur in areas where the existing Trans Mountain pipeline operates. This spring thaw, commonly known as freshet, is a result of snow and ice moving and melting into a river system, which can last for weeks as the snowpack melts.

Flooding is just one of the natural hazards taken into consideration when a pipeline is designed. Trans Mountain’s robust pipeline Integrity Management and Emergency Management Programs are in place to manage operational concerns, including those related to seasonal challenges that can potentially affect the pipeline.

Trans Mountain is prepared to prevent an incident as a result of flood waters near the pipeline. We monitor the pipeline closely to assess any potential seasonal risks that could affect operations. The pipeline is buried below ground, however, flood waters are capable of scouring (or removing) the soil from around the right-of-way, which may result in exposure of the line. If flood waters put the pipeline at risk, Trans Mountain’s Flood Management Plans are put into action. When these seasonal challenges arise, it is crucial the pipeline is monitored, and if necessary, for precautionary measures, the line can be shut down or a section can be isolated.

As one of the conditions of the expansion, Trans Mountain will implement a risk-based design process to minimize the risk of a pipeline incident and demonstrate safe operations through appropriate mitigation. This includes identifying potential issues associated with natural hazards and seasonal risks. As always, protecting the integrity of the pipeline and the environment are top priorities and we are committed to preparing for a variety of potential hazards and emergencies and to ensuring we can mitigate, prevent and, if necessary, respond.