As part of our emergency response program, Trans Mountain conducts exercises throughout the year to ensure employees and contractors receive the necessary training to protect themselves, the public, local communities and the environment in the rare event of an incident. Local first responders also participate, giving us the opportunity to share knowledge, train together and work to improve current procedures.

This spring, we conducted three spill response deployment exercises in Puget Sound, Little Fort and Merritt. Each exercise was held for two days, including an equipment training day that provides an overview of safe practices and procedures, followed by the deployment day using response equipment.

Puget Sound, WA

In April, we conducted a spill response deployment drill within our Puget Sound District, testing our response efforts to a simulated release impacting the Nooksack River. During the two-day event, participants deployed containment and recovery equipment that included the Laurel Station Oil Spill Containment and Recovery (OSCAR) and Decontamination Response trailers. Deployment activity took place along the Nooksack River at the DeGroot Boat Launch near Lynden, Washington.

The exercise was attended by representatives from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (WUTC) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE). Supporting Trans Mountain responders were contractors from US Ecology, SWAT Consulting and JTI Commercial Services.

Responders set up response equipment at the DeGroot Boat Launch

Little Fort, BC

In May, we held an emergency response exercise on Lemieux Creek in Little Fort, BC. The exercise allowed responders to use response equipment, practice Emergency Response Plans, confirm viable spill control points and refresh personnel on response tactics, including land- and water-based training. Various types of equipment were on-site, including oil spill response trailers, containment boom and associated spill response equipment. Trans Mountain personnel, first responders, government agencies and Indigenous groups participated in the exercise.

Responders set up boom equipment along the banks of Lemieux Creek
Responders moving a deployed boom into position

Merritt, BC

In May, we also held a spill response deployment drill along the banks of the Coldwater River at the Voght Street Bridge, focusing on the safe use of response equipment. A number of external agencies attended, including the British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Merritt Fire and Rescue, Lower Nicola Indian Band FD and Natural Resources Canada. The exercise ensured our responders were equipped and prepared for a release into the Coldwater River and positioned to contain and recover the product. Emergency resources including OSCAR and decontamination trailers were on-site for the deployment drill.

Responders unload the OSCAR trailer in preparation for the deployment exercise

Responders moving the deployed boom