On behalf of Michael Davies, Chief Operating Officer, Trans Mountain Corporation

Trans Mountain is responding to claims made in the Burnaby Beacon’s October 21, 2021 article, Burnaby Mountain firehall allays some fears, but some questions still unanswered, in order to provide information to the community and residents of Burnaby. Trans Mountain has been a proud member of the Burnaby community for more than 65 years. Safety is our top priority and the cornerstone to everything we do.

The article contains claims that Trans Mountain does not have plans for an emergency situation at Burnaby Terminal; claims that are simply untrue. Our Emergency Response Plan for terminals and tanks, located on our website here, contains the most up-to-date information on emergency response for our terminals, specifically Burnaby Terminal. Our facilities are designed and operated to industry best practices and meet the most stringent fire safety standards, many of which exceed regulatory requirements. For example, fire-safe operations at our Burnaby Terminal include measures for early detection and fire suppression systems, operational procedures to reduce possible risks, training exercises, site-specific fire pre-plans, oversight by the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) and compliance with applicable American Petroleum Institute and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

We have invited the City of Burnaby and Burnaby Fire-Rescue to participate in our exercises and tours, and we have provided opportunities for them to familiarize themselves with our plans and equipment. Over the past five years, they have attended twice, as observers, rather than participants. We have also offered awareness sessions for first responders to understand the risks and response capabilities at the terminal and along the pipeline route. Unfortunately, the City of Burnaby has not participated in this opportunity for first responders to learn about our facilities and response plans in the past seven years.

At Burnaby Terminal, the Expansion Project-related fire protection enhancements include a larger fire-water reservoir, new high-capacity fire-water pump and foam systems, dual early fire detection systems, remote-activated fire suppression systems and an enhanced mobile firefighting system that includes a foam cannon and firefighting equipment to back up the fixed system. We employ additional safety measures at Burnaby Terminal, such as trained emergency response technicians, 24/7 monitoring for early fire detection and an advanced on-site fire suppression system, which includes a rapidly deployable specialized sprinkler system designed for forest fire protection along our fenceline.

On March 5, 2021, the CER conducted an unannounced exercise to evaluate Trans Mountain’s emergency readiness at Burnaby Terminal. We were directed to simulate a response to a full-surface crude oil tank fire. The CER’s findings showed that Trans Mountain was able to respond to the potential scenario at our Burnaby facility immediately and complete deployment was achieved in 2.5 hours, well within the four-hour target.

The Beacon article raises concerns regarding our emergency plans post-expansion. Our plans for the existing terminal are reviewed annually and Trans Mountain is required by the CER to file updated plans for the expanded terminal one year prior to it going into operation. The enhanced plans for the Expansion Project and facilities have been in development for the better part of a decade, during which time Trans Mountain has consistently sought engagement and input from the City of Burnaby. As always, we remain open to working with the City of Burnaby on these plans well before the new infrastructure goes into service.

The City of Burnaby has decided to build a new firehall on Burnaby Mountain to support its residential and community growth plans for the area. While Trans Mountain is self-sufficient in terms of our on-site emergency response plans, we remain available, further to all previous invitations, to coordinate emergency response plans involving all commercial, institutional and industrial stakeholders on the mountain.

The Trans Mountain Expansion Project was approved based on a design, and emergency response plans, which include an enhanced emergency response program, to address the requirements of the system to account for new infrastructure. Trans Mountain has also introduced new preventative and mitigation measures designed to reduce the risk of fires and spills.

Since beginning operation in 1953, we’ve never had a storage tank fire. Although tank fires worldwide are extremely rare, we constantly review, test and update our prevention and emergency management programs to ensure our terminals operate safely.

Through our prevention and emergency management programs, we are confident we can prevent and respond to any kind of incident today and into the future. Whether it’s through the course of our daily operations or during construction, we are committed to operating responsibly and safely to protect our employees, contractors and community.