In the early development stage of the Anchor Loop project, the team faced a task many in the industry felt was impossible — crossing two high-profile parks to reach a delivery point. The Trans Mountain Pipeline system, however, was an existing pipeline with authorizations in place between the pipeline owner and the federal and provincial governments. A 1951 Government of Canada Order in Council authorized construction of the Trans Mountain system through Jasper National Park, and future consideration of looped pipelines as might be proposed, while a 1952 Government of British Columbia Order in Council granted a right-of-way through Mount Robson Provincial Park for one or more pipelines. Although the original right-of-way granting documents were still valid, the Canada National Parks Act had been revised twice since the original pipeline’s construction. As such, for the Anchor Loop project team, ensuring the intent of the modern-day Act could be honoured was a particular challenge — a challenge that the team was committed to delivering.
An important part of obtaining government approval for the project meant ensuring the project would not only meet but in most cases exceed regulatory requirements, including the Canada National Parks Act, in addition to the expectations of the many stakeholders and Aboriginal Peoples.
Recognizing the sensitivity of the project’s location, and that it crossed both national and provincial park boundaries, the Trans Mountain team ensured they: conducted a comprehensive public and Aboriginal engagement program; considered route alternatives in and around the parks and protected areas; undertook an environmental and socio-economic assessment (ESA) to a level of detail exceeding what would usually have been required for a project such as Anchor Loop outside of parks; and, conducted consultations and fieldwork with the primary considerations being the safety of park visitors and their enjoyment of these areas.