In early July, Trans Mountain conducted a spill response exercise on the Fraser River, near Hope, BC. Conducting emergency exercises and practicing response plans are part of Trans Mountain’s ongoing commitment to safety and emergency preparedness.

Boat crews tow boom upstream before securing it to the shoreline. The boom is then set in-stream using a boom vane to deflect product away from the shoreline.

The purpose of the exercise was to deploy response equipment to validate an oil spill response control point within the Fraser River. Control points are predetermined locations where response equipment may be deployed to support spill response efforts. Activities undertaken as part of the exercise included swift-water boat handling, boom and boom vane positioning, establishment of a decontamination zone and positioning of wildlife deterrence equipment. No oil or simulated product was released into the water during the exercise.

Emergency responders prepare to deploy a boom vane in-stream within the Fraser River to secure deflection boom.

Trans Mountain conducts emergency exercises at varying locations along the pipeline each year to ensure responders can deploy under a variety of environmental conditions. For this exercise, responders had to contend with the Fraser River, which was moving at approximately 13 km/h (kilometres per hour). Despite the challenging conditions, responders were able to safely implement the identified response strategy.

Trans Mountain was fortunate enough to be hosted by and conduct this exercise on Chawathil First Nation territory. Held at the Telte Yet Campsite in Hope, the exercise provided a tremendous opportunity to exchange information, including local and traditional knowledge, and further enhance Trans Mountain’s ability to respond within and protect this area. The Canada Energy Regulator, RCMP and Hope Fire Department also attended the exercise.

Exercise attendees participate in an Opening Prayer and Welcoming from Chawathil First Nation.

Trans Mountain ensures all employees and contractors receive the training necessary to protect themselves, the public, Indigenous and local communities, and the environment in the event of an emergency. Formal training reinforced by regular emergency response exercises is key to maintaining our response readiness. Each year, we conduct more than 20 emergency response exercises, equipment deployment drills and training opportunities with many evaluated by regulatory agencies.

A boom vane holds containment boom in-stream to simulate deflecting product away from the shoreline. Product is then contained and recovered at a subsequent control point downstream.