The Trans Mountain Expansion Project has 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. These include more than 60 environmental protection and management plans relating to specific aspects of construction, including several management plans detailing mitigation measures relating to wildlife listed under Schedule 1 of the Species At Risk Act (SARA).

One of these plans includes the Oregon Forestsnail Mitigation and Habitat Restoration Plan that identifies four areas of Oregon forestsnail critical habitat in the Fraser Valley. Trans Mountain has a federal SARA permit to salvage and relocate Oregon forestsnails from the Project footprint where it interacts with this species on federal land. Wildlife resource specialists (seen above) recently completed work at two sites specific to the protection of Oregon forestsnails. The work in Spring 2020 included:

  • establishing long-term monitoring plots outside of the Project footprint;  
  • salvaging Oregon forestsnails from the footprint and relocating them to adjacent suitable habitat; 
  • completion of a barrier fence study; and
  • applying primary PIT-tags and secondary Alpha-tags (shown in the below photo) to a subset of Oregon forestsnails that will be monitored over the long-term.

Tagging will help biologists to relocate and identify the Oregon forestsnails during subsequent monitoring years. By tracking the tagged Oregon forestsnails, we can learn more about their survival success after relocation, their movements and how quickly they will recolonize the Project footprint after reclamation. 

The fence study (seen in the above photo) was conducted over a two-week period to evaluate three types of exclusion fence to determine which was the most effective in preventing Oregon forestsnail movement. The fence types included standard geotextile, geotextile with an overhang at the top and geotextile with a strip of copper mesh (seen below). The fence plots were 0.6m x 0.6m and each had six Oregon forestsnails placed inside. The results indicated the copper mesh was the most effective as a barrier to Oregon forestsnail movement. Oregon forestsnails were able to easily climb and exit the other two fence types.  

Oregon forestsnail field work will continue in September 2020. This work will include installation of exclusion fencing (i.e., with copper mesh) and salvage and relocation of Oregon forestsnails at two additional sites. The exclusion fencing will be removed during the reclamation phase of the Project.

Environmental protection plans (EPPs) are among 156 conditions required by the Canada Energy Regulator and detail the actions required to ensure protection of land, plants, wildlife, fish and the marine environment in all phases of the Project.

EPPs also cover community impacts such as traffic, noise, air quality and the socio-economic effects of our Project workforce, particularly in smaller communities along the construction footprint. Where there is a potential environmental impact, Trans Mountain’s goal is to ensure the land is returned to its original function or to mitigate impacts.