During Project planning, we identified environmental impacts associated with construction and determined mitigation methods to reduce those effects. Our goal is to protect the environment, have as little impact as possible and where we do have an impact, to ensure we are returning the land to its original function. 

Ultimately, we cannot put the land back exactly the way it was. However, where we disrupt farm land, we will ensure it is returned to farm land, or where we disrupt wetland habitats, we will ensure these are returned to their pre-construction function. We also look for opportunities to leave a legacy for the communities around the pipeline and associated facilities. For example, on the new right-of-way, we could create walking trails, cross-country ski trails or other features to enhance community enjoyment.

Some of the plans for reclamation or mitigation methods for certain environmental features are described below. 

Urban / Residential Areas

We will re-landscape any private properties disturbed by construction activities in residential areas with the goal to return the landscaping to as good as or better than pre-construction. Certain planting and building restrictions apply to residential properties containing a permanent right-of-way, however, we will work with residents to design reclamation features that accommodate the easement and owner’s use.

Agricultural Land

On agricultural lands, the primary considerations for reclamation are the management and preservation of top soil and preventing the spread of weeds and invasive species. Here are some examples of how we will handle these concerns:

  • Hand-pulling, mowing or spot herbicide treatment of weeds and problem species
  • Careful top and sub-soil separation
  • Select cleaning stations for soil-handling equipment to prevent the spread of weed and invasive species
  • Native plant communities will be re-established. Treatments may include native seed applications and installations of native plant stock of grasses, shrubs and trees.
  • Wetland soils will be salvaged and replaced after construction. Wetland species regenerate from the salvaged soil. Wetlands may be seeded if they contain weeds or issues are identified during monitoring. Rare wetland plants may be salvaged or propagated and returned to the wetland after construction.
  • Reclamation activities will be scheduled to adhere to wildlife timing constraints to the extent feasible.
  • A list of potential groundwater-related effects of the Project
  • Mitigation measures to minimize potential effects identified
  • Procedures for monitoring groundwater quantity and/or quality
  • Drinking water sources within the construction footprint will be flagged and fenced prior to construction
  • Groundwater flow patterns will be maintained through sub-drain installation and using suitable backfill, where applicable
  • In specific areas, environment experts will monitor construction to ensure protection of groundwater

Parks and Sensitive Areas

Trans Mountain takes steps to protect sensitive habitats and ecosystems when conducting construction and reclamation activities in parks and environmentally sensitive areas such as wetlands. Our goal is to protect rare plant species and re-establish native plant communities.  By fencing off and marking activities, we can avoid rare plant communities. Rare plants that cannot be avoided will be salvaged or propagated and returned to the site after construction.

Groundwater Management Plan

We understand communities want to protect groundwater during construction. The Groundwater Management Plan (GWMP) identifies vulnerable aquifers along the pipeline route and also outlines construction mitigation measures for working around springs, water wells, shallow groundwater and unconfirmed aquifers.

The GWMP includes:

  • A list of potential groundwater-related effects of the Project
  • Mitigation measures to minimize potential effects identified
  • Procedures for monitoring groundwater quantity and/or quality

Here are a few examples of how we will protect groundwater during construction:

  • Drinking water sources within the construction footprint will be flagged and fenced prior to construction
  • Groundwater flow patterns will be maintained through sub-drain installation and using suitable backfill, where applicable
  • In specific areas, environment experts will monitor construction to ensure protection of groundwater

We are committed to ongoing engagement and communications on groundwater. We will file consultation reports related to the protection of municipal water sources two months prior to construction, each year during construction and for five years after operations start.