The Trans Mountain Pipeline System has been in use since 1953. This pipeline carries refined and crude oil to the coast of British Columbia in Burnaby from Edmonton, Alberta. This pipeline is the only one that runs between these two areas. In 2013 an application for an expansion to this pipeline system was filed but was denied due to an abundance of controversy surrounding environmental issues. This lead to a trade war between Alberta and B.C. in early 2018. In that same year, the Canadian Federal Government purchased the pipeline from Kinder Morgan. The Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion was approved on June 18, 2019. The National Energy Board was directed by the Governor in Council to issue the certificate of approval.
Spill History of Trans Mountain Pipelines
Since 1961, there have been approximately 82 spills that have been reported to Canada’s National Energy Board by Trans Mountain Pipelines. Many of these spills have been below the reporting threshold that is mandatory. However, there are a few which have been significant. In 2005, in Abbotsford, there was a dump of crude oil of 1,300 bbl, due to a ruptured pipeline. In 2007, in Burnaby, there was a crude oil spill of 1,410 – 1,470 bbl, due to a ruptured pipeline by a city worker. The clean up from this oil spill took over a year. In 2009, in Burnaby, a spill of crude oil of 1,920 bbl, due to its release from a tank at the Terminal of the Trans Mountain Burnaby. The majority of the spill was caught in a containment area.
Increased Capacity With the Trans Mountain Expansion
Plans to expand the Trans Mountain pipeline will increase it’s capacity to 890,000 barrels of crude oil from the current 300,000 barrels of crude oil. An additional pipeline is planned to run parallel to the existing one.