Trans Mountain & the Environment: 21 Facts

Trans Mountain Pipeline Environmental Facts

With Trans Mountain opponents making noise about the expansion project through renewed protests in Vancouver, many Canadians are now curious about what it is doing to protect the environment.

Canadian pipelines are built under one of the most stringent regulatory regimes in the world. Project operators must apply rigorous environmental protections and mitigation techniques while monitoring natural wildlife and habitats every step of the way, as required under Canadian law.

The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) is no different.

So then, what exactly are TMX workers doing to reduce environmental impacts along the pipeline’s 1,150-kilometre route? With the TMX at roughly 50 per cent completion, it’s a good time to look at some of the facts behind the pipeline’s environmental and safety standards.

Here are 20 facts showing what Trans Mountain is doing to protect the environment. Also see:

Trans Mountain Environmental Facts

MYTH - trans mountain pipeline is dangerous to british columbia's coastline

#1 - Since 1956, Trans Mountain’s Westridge Marine Terminal tankers have safely transported petroleum products through Port of Vancouver without a single spill.

#2 - Each vessel from Trans Mountain’s terminal must meet all applicable regulations from international, national, and local levels. They also pre-screen all ships and deny vessels if standards are not met.

#3 - TMX has proposed additional risk controls and enhancements to build on Vancouver’s current marine safety regulations. Upon implementation, they are expected to raise the level of maritime safety in the region to well above globally-accepted shipping standards.

#4 - Trans Mountain held over 5,800 environmental consultations with affected Indigenous groups between 2015-2018.

#5 - Trans Mountain conducted 13,771 person-days of technical field studies and environmental monitoring by third-party consultants in 2020.

#6 - TMX employed 34 Indigenous monitors as of December 2020. Indigenous monitors work with environmental inspectors to monitor compliance with approved mitigation measures regarding traditional resource use and cultural considerations.

#7 - Since 2012, Trans Mountain has worked with more than 70 Indigenous groups in archaeological fieldwork studies and provided traditional land-use information and environmental knowledge.

#8 - In 2019 and 2020, Trans Mountain performed a combined 2,441 kilometres of in-line pipeline inspections.

#9 - Trans Mountain conducted 4,055 cathodic protection test lead surveys on the pipeline in 2020. Cathodic protection is one of the most effective methods for preventing corrosion on a metal surface.

#10 - Trans Mountain completed 115 aerial surveys for visual inspection of the pipeline’s right-of-way and monitoring operations in 2020.

MYTH - there is no demand for the extra oil to be shipped by trans mountain pipeline expansion

#11 - Trans Mountain’s Control Centre in Edmonton monitors its pipelines and terminals 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ensure safe operations.

#12 - Trans Mountain is an environmentally responsible way to transport energy. For example, researchers in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Alberta found pipeline transportation produced between 61 to 77 per cent lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than rail over long distances.

#13 - The existing Trans Mountain pipeline system moves about 1,400 tanker truckloads or 441 tanker railcars every day. The expansion allows for increased capacity and greater GHG emission reductions versus if these products were transported via railcar.

#14 - The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) is enforcing 156 regulatory conditions during various stages of TMX’s life cycle including during the pre-construction, construction and operational phases.

#15 - More than 60 environmental protection plans (EPPs) and management plans have been developed outlining required wildlife mitigation measures.

#16 - Green Marine is a voluntary environmental certification program for the North American marine industry which encourages its participants to reduce their environmental footprint. A participant since 2015, TMX’s Westridge Marine Terminal undertakes a self-review of its performance annually and is subject to an independent verification every two years.

#17 - Trans Mountain is participating in the Port of Vancouver Enhancing Cetacean Habitat and Observation (ECHO) Program to better understand and mitigate environmental impacts from shipping throughout the South Coast Region of British Columbia.

#18 - Trans Mountain’s Groundwater Management Plan (GWMP) identifies aquifers along the pipeline route and outlines mitigation measures.

#19 - Canadian oil sands have decreased carbon intensity by 21 per cent from 2009 to 2017, which will only continue to improve. In addition, the Trans Mountain Expansion Project will provide increased capacity to support responsible Canadian oil production.

#20 - Trans Mountain’s Environmental Protection Rules program won the 2021 Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA) Foundation Award for Innovation. (CEPA)

#21 - In April of 2021, a hummingbird’s nest was found along TMX’s route near Burnaby, B.C. Out of respect for the land, work was halted for four months along the one-kilometre stretch.

Sources: Trans Mountain, Trans Mountain Environmental, Social, Governance Report 2020, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association, University of Alberta Study

TMX is Good for the World

MYTH - Indigenous First Nations do not support Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion

TMX has undergone rigorous environmental review and will be a significant source of revenue for dozens of First Nations communities who have signed benefit agreement projects along its route. Furthermore, the pipeline expansion will provide global markets with access to an additional 590,000 barrels of oil per day from one of the world’s most responsible global energy producers.

With the TMX set to begin operation in 2023, the timing couldn’t be better as policymakers around the globe focus more intently on energy security for their respective nations.

Canada’s world-class record on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) indices means we should be a go-to supplier for the world’s increasing demand for energy of all forms – don’t you agree?!

Join us today on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram to learn why the world needs more Canadian natural resources on global markets and how this benefits both our families AND the global environment. We hope to see you there!

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