Trans Mountain practices emergency response on the existing pipeline in all seasons so we can be prepared to respond to an incident no matter what weather conditions are present. Winter is no exception. Where the pipeline crosses rivers and streams, these bodies of water can be covered with ice in winter months, so it is imperative response crews are trained to respond under ice conditions. Last week, our Emergency Response Team conducted an on-ice emergency exercise on Lac Des Roches, BC near 100 Mile House, where ice conditions were appropriate and safe to practice deploying equipment needed for winter spill response. 

This pre-planned exercise simulated a scenario of a third-party strike to the pipeline resulting in a release of product into the water. Crews trained on equipment to cut through the ice to practice containment and recovery techniques under ice and snow. Conducting the exercise in a live winter environment allows first responders to adapt to real seasonal challenges.

The exercise also included land-based training, setup and deployment of response trailers, containment boom and equipment needed for winter spill response. Employees, contractors, first responders and Indigenous groups were invited to participate and observe.

Trans Mountain is required by our regulators to have an Emergency Management Program and to exercise our Emergency Response Plans on a regular basis to ensure we are prepared to respond quickly and efficiently. 

Last year, Trans Mountain conducted 18 emergency response exercises at various locations along the pipeline route including a similar winter ice deployment held near Jasper National Park in January 2018.