As part of our ongoing commitment to safety and emergency preparedness, Trans Mountain recently conducted two emergency response exercises in Edmonton and Edson, Alberta. The purpose of these exercises was to practice our Emergency Response Plans, test winter response equipment and refresh personnel on ice-based spill response tactics.

Responders use a specialized chainsaw sled to complete ice-slotting and expose the surface water below during a winter response exercise held at Edson Station on February 11, 2021

As part of these exercises, Trans Mountain responders demonstrated oil spill containment and recovery operations within a frozen water body. Using specialized saws, responders created a slot within the ice to gain access to the water surface beneath. Once the ice blocks are removed, the exposed slot acts as a natural boom helping to divert product towards a collection zone where an oil skimmer awaits.

Safety was the top priority during each of these exercises. To ensure personnel and equipment could safely deploy, responders had to conduct an ice assessment and calculate weight-bearing capacity first. It was only when these assessments confirmed the ice was safe, that responders commenced the exercise activities. Winter response operations involve additional hazards and extra precautions, including detailed ice assessments to perform activities safely.

In addition to winter safety considerations, responders were required to follow detailed COVID-19 safety protocols. This included individual health screening with temperature checks, physical distancing, enhanced personal protection equipment (PPE) including mask wearing, and ensuring that each participant completed a Trans Mountain COVID-19 self-declaration form affirming their physical well-being.

Trans Mountain ensures our employees and contractors receive the training necessary to protect themselves, the public, 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.

Spill response instructors conduct a lecture on winter response to Trans Mountain personnel during a winter deployment exercise at Edmonton Terminal on February 10, 2021

Trans Mountain is required to have an Emergency Management Program that anticipates, prevents, manages and mitigates conditions during the unlikely event of an emergency. Each year, we conduct more than 20 emergency response exercises, equipment deployment drills and training opportunities that are often evaluated by regulatory agencies.