The Trans Mountain Pipeline and its associated facilities, including our storage tanks, are prepared for all kinds of natural hazards that could pose a concern to our operations like earthquakes, seasonal flooding or wildfires.   

In more than 65 years of operation, we’ve never had a storage tank fire or structural incident with one of our tanks. Although tank fires and seismic tank incidents world-wide are extremely rare, our prevention and emergency management programs are an integral part of keeping our terminals operating safely.

Since the Burnaby Terminal was originally constructed, and as knowledge about seismic events has improved, upgrades have been completed at our facilities and along our pipeline system, including Burnaby Terminal, to address seismic hazards. These upgrades included the reconstruction of the Burnaby secondary containment berms, upgrade to the Burnaby fire protection system and replacement of piping connections on a number of tanks.

Trans Mountain’s facilities are designed and operated to industry best practices and meet the most stringent safety standards. As part of regulatory requirements and according to industry best practices, in-service inspections are completed every five years. Additional measures include early detection and fire suppression systems, operational procedures to reduce possible risks, training exercises, site-specific fire pre-plans, regular National Energy Board (NEB) audits and compliance with the American Petroleum Institute and National Fire Protection Association standards.

As part of our Geohazard Management Program, we proactively assess earthquake hazards and seek to further our understanding of how our infrastructure performs during seismic events. We then apply this knowledge to the engineering, construction and maintenance requirements of our operations.

We have a number of additional safety measures specifically at the Burnaby Terminal, such as trained emergency response technicians, 24/7 monitoring for early fire detection and an advanced on-site fire suppression system, which includes a rapidly deployable specialized sprinkler system designed for Wildfire-Urban Structure Protection and can be deployed along our fenceline.

As part of the Expansion Project, we have enhanced our emergency response plans to address the requirements of the expanded system. We are also introducing new preventative and mitigation measures designed to reduce the risk of fires and spills, many of which exceed regulatory requirements.

At the Burnaby Terminal, the Expansion Project-related fire protection enhancements include a larger fire-water reservoir, new high-capacity fire-water pump and foam systems, dual early fire detection systems, remote-activated fire suppression systems and a mobile firefighting system that includes a foam trailer, foam cannon and firefighting equipment.

With regard to risks to the community, the Burnaby Terminal Expansion Risk Assessment Report we filed with the National Energy Board as part of Trans Mountain’s submission to satisfy NEB Condition 22 for the Expansion Project, addresses individual risk from seismic and other hazards for the expanded terminal, including the existing tanks. 

The report identifies how the probabilities and consequences from tank failures during seismic events are quantified and combined mathematically to establish individual risk contours around Burnaby Terminal, and to assess the adequacy of secondary containment.