As part of our ongoing commitment to safety and emergency preparedness, Trans Mountain conducted an emergency response exercise last week on the North Thompson River at John McMahon Riverside Park in Clearwater, BC. The purpose of this exercise was to practice our Emergency Response Plan, test response equipment and refresh personnel on water-based spill response tactics.

Trans Mountain response boats prepare to deploy oil spill containment boom on the North Thompson River near Clearwater B.C.

“To ensure we are fully prepared if an emergency were to happen – we practice in every type of potential situation. We complete over 20 exercises a year whether they be table-top exercises, full-scale deployments or additional certifications”, says Kelly Malinoski, Trans Mountain’s Director of Emergency Management. “In-the-field training helps ensure we have an efficient response time and allows us to work with agencies, first responders and Indigenous communities to ensure we are fully prepared.”  

A decontamination station established for cleaning residual oil from protective clothing and equipment.

The exercise included both land and water-based training and deployment of oil spill response trailers, response boats, containment booms and associated spill response equipment. Trans Mountain employees, contractors, first responders, government agencies, representatives from the Canada Energy Regulatory and Indigenous groups participated in, or observed, the exercise.

All COVID-19 safety protocols were followed throughout the exercise including individual health screening with temperature checking, physical distancing and completion of a self-declaration form.

Trans Mountain responders utilizing a portable pump with suction hose to demonstrate oil recovery from the river below.

Trans Mountain ensures our employees receive the training necessary to protect themselves, the public, local communities and the environment during an incident. Formal training is reinforced by a program of regular emergency response exercises. We conduct more than 20 exercises each year and coordinate training and exercising plans with key stakeholders and communities.