Trans Mountain is committed to transparency involving any and all spills that have occurred along our lines, or on partner vessels carrying Trans Mountain-transported product. Information about reported spills is available to the public.
While no spill is acceptable, when one does happen, Trans Mountain notifies the National Energy Board (NEB) – the independent federal regulator of pipelines in Canada since 1961.
As a regulated company, Kinder Morgan is responsible for reporting spills greater than 1.5m 3 or any spill to a water body regardless of volume. Over the years, the NEB has revised the spill reporting criteria for pipeline companies. Trans Mountain has followed all NEB regulations in terms of reporting pipeline leaks and malfunctions, according to the rules and thresholds listed below.
|Time Period||NEB Spill Reporting Criteria|
Release of low vapour pressure (LVP) hydrocarbons greater than 1.5m
Release of gas or high vapour pressure (HVP) hydrocarbons
Release resulting in significant adverse effect
Release of oil greater than 1.5m
Release of gas or high vapour (HVP) hydocarbons
Release resulting in the discharge of toxic substances in land or into a body of water
|1974-1988||Any leak, break, fire or explosion in, or failure or malfunction of pipeline|
It is important to note that the NEB’s definition for a pipeline spill is not limited to the products transported in the pipeline. A spill or release is defined a “discharge, spray, spill, leak, seep, pour, emit, dump and exhaust.” That means if water is released from a pipeline or facility, that incident is also reported to the NEB.
Trans Mountain’s Spill History
Since 1961, Trans Mountain has reported approximately 82 spills to the NEB. Click here for a table of spills reported by the company. Some of the incidents were below the reportable threshold.
- 69.5% of Trans Mountain’s past spills have occurred at pump stations or terminals. All of our pump stations and terminals are equipped with monitoring and spill containment systems to provide early detection and lessen impacts and ensure spilled volumes are contained on site. These facilities are rigorously maintained and inspected to meet NEB standards.
- The remaining 30.5% of Trans Mountain’s spills have occurred along the pipeline, with 21 incidents related to releases of crude oil from the pipeline. Of these spills, only nine exceeded the reporting threshold of 1.5 m3 — with just three of those nine occurring in the last 35 years. In all of these circumstances, Trans Mountain deployed its emergency response and spill management procedures.
Since 1956, vessels from our Westridge Marine Terminal have been transporting petroleum products safely through Port Metro Vancouver without a single spill from a tanker.
Find out more about pipeline emergency management in Canada.
Find out more about regulations regarding spill cleanup in Canada.
Updated August 31, 2016.