Trans Mountain will be prepared to re-start construction on the Expansion Project once the necessary approvals and requirements are in place. Since the August 2018 court decision, we have continued to work with our contractors to ensure planning and design is advancing in a way that would allow us to get back to work as soon as possible.

Building a pipeline and associated facilities is a lengthy and detailed process. Many regulatory and commercial steps need to be completed before we can get shovels in the ground, including fulfilling environmental and safety requirements, re-mobilizing the contractors, distributing notifications and ensuring we’ve met all our pre-construction conditions.

Based on our current expectations and as outlined in the most recent NEB filing, we plan to begin construction at Edmonton Terminal, Burnaby Terminal, Westridge Marine Terminal and on the Burnaby Mountain Tunnel in 2019.

We will be putting pipe in the ground this year at the terminals and via Horizonal Directional Drilling construction in several construction spreads.

In several other spreads, we will begin various conventional pipeline construction activities this September, such as preparation, safety assessments, surveying, clearing, environmental surveys, berry gathering, stripping, grading, hauling and stringing. These construction activities need to take place prior to laying pipe in the ground.

Construction on the expansion will take place in a phased approach, and therefore, we need specific approvals and requirements for each phase to be in place by the start of construction of that phase.  

Conditions

The Expansion Project is subject to 156 Conditions from the NEB. Conditions apply during various stages of the Project’s lifecycle, including before construction, during construction and during operation of the pipeline system. They demonstrate the rigour, assessment and detail that will go into every stage of the Project to mitigate risks, respect the rights of those directly affected and operate safely.

Condition 10 allows us to commence construction activities at specific locations at different times using a phased approach. You can follow our progress towards meeting all 156 conditions using the NEB’s interactive conditions tool here

Commitments

During the course of the NEB proceedings, we made hundreds of commitments to address concerns raised by the public, local and provincial governments and Indigenous groups.

Commitments are specific in nature and relate to the manner in which the Project may be constructed or operated, beyond what is already required by applicable federal, provincial or municipal legislation or regulations.

The NEB requires Trans Mountain to meet each and every one of these commitments, as well as file and publish an updated Commitments Tracking Table. Click here to view the August 2019 update to the Commitments Tracking Table.

Environmental Protection Plans

We have developed plans covering a wide range of environmental requirements that must be implemented before, during and after construction along the pipeline right-of-way, facilities and related access areas.

Environmental protection plans (EPPs) are among 156 conditions required by the National Energy Board. Trans Mountain is also subject to 37 conditions attached to the BC Environmental Assessment Office Certificate.

Our goal is to protect the environment, have as little impact as possible and, where we do have an impact, ensure we return the land to a similar function.

Landowner Agreements and Detailed Route Process

Overall, the Project requires close to 3,200 tracts of land for the Expansion Project in BC and Alberta, and as of August 2019, we have come to agreements with landowners for 65 per cent of these tracts. We are in discussions with landowners for the remaining 35 per cent. We have agreements for 73 per cent of the private lands required for the Project – 88 per cent in Alberta and 68 per cent in BC.

As part of the NEB’s detailed route approval process announced on July 19, 2019, Trans Mountain must issue notices to landowners along the entire route, including those that were served previously, and publish notices in local newspapers.

If Trans Mountain and the landowner are unable to reach agreement, the NEB will provide a multi-step process to address differences of opinion as part of the routing review and approval process.

Notifications

Trans Mountain is required by multiple regulatory agencies to notify landowners, neighbours and other potentially impacted parties in advance of any construction activity taking place. These notifications include issuing notices to Indigenous groups, local governments and approximately 2,000 landowners; publishing ads in local media publications; delivering information cards and updating the interactive map on our website.

Permits

In addition to the NEB, there are a number of federal, provincial and municipal government agencies that have regulatory authority over certain aspects of the Project. 

Examples of the types of permits required under these agencies include:

Federal Permits

  • Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) – Under the Species at Risk Act (SARA), a permit is required for activities on federal lands where SARA-listed species are present. 
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) – Under the Fisheries Act, an authorization is required for any in-water works that impact fish and fish habitat. 
  • Transport Canada – Under the Aeronautics Act and the Airport Zoning Regulation, an Aeronautical Assessment Form is required for all cranes or aerial structures that are near airports. 
  • NAV CANADA – NAV CANADA must assess and approve all proposals to use cranes near an airport or air navigation infrastructure.
  • Vancouver Fraser Port Authority (VFPA) – Westridge Marine Terminal is partially located on federal lands under the authority of the VFPA. A Project Permit is required from the VFPA for the redevelopment of Westridge Marine Terminal. 
  • Parks Canada – A Development Permit and Special Activity Permits are required from Parks Canada in order to conduct reactivation work in Jasper National Park. 

BC Provincial Permits

Click here for more information on the BC provincial permits required.

Alberta Provincial Permits

  • Alberta Environment & Parks (AEP) – Under the Public Lands Administration Regulation, permits are required for use of Crown land. 
  • Alberta Transportation (AT) – Permits are required from Alberta Transportation for development within 300 m of a provincial highway right-of-way. 
  • Alberta Infrastructure TUC (AI) – Permits are required from Alberta Infrastructure for construction within the Transportation Utility Corridor.

Municipal Permits

Each of the local governments the Project crosses have bylaws that require permits for certain aspects of the Project. These bylaws vary by municipality and generally require the Project to obtain building-related permits and permits incidental to construction and excavation activities.

Call or Click Before We Dig

Every time we dig in the ground, there's a risk we could hit a water or sewer line, a gas or oil pipeline, or an electricity or telecommunications line.

That’s why we call or click One Call before shovels hit the ground. It’s a free service in BC and Alberta that keeps us and the community safe. We speak to an operator in the Customer Care Centre who will take down our details, such as the location of our worksite and the kind of excavation work we’re planning.

The operator checks this information against One Call’s province-wide mapping system, which will identify underground facilities that may be on and around the job site. The operator creates a ‘ticket’ based on this information and distributes it to One Call members who own infrastructure on or around the project site.

Boots-on-the-Ground Construction

This is an exciting time for Trans Mountain as we transition from planning to execution of the Expansion Project. We’ve developed a disciplined approach to ensure we meet all regulatory requirements to start construction, including a thorough project and environmental review.

Trans Mountain’s focus is safety and protection of communities and the environment. Extensive dialogue has taken place with landowners, neighbours, Indigenous Peoples, communities and other stakeholders and will continue throughout the construction and post-construction phases.