Brian Zinchuk is editor and owner of Pipeline Online
The following statement was issued by Trans Mountain on Nov. 18. The pipeline, which runs from Edmonton to Burnaby, is the prime conduit for petroleum to the British Columbia Lower Mainland.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline remains shut down following a precautionary shut down on Sunday, November 14, in anticipation of the impacts of the heavy rainfall and extreme weather conditions. The pipeline remains safely in a static condition and there is no indication of any oil release.
The Trans Mountain Pipeline is a critical piece of infrastructure for British Columbia and Washington state and every effort is being made to safely restart the pipeline as promptly as possible. Trans Mountain is in regular contact with its shippers and is working to mitigate potential impacts of the pipeline shut down on the region.
Trans Mountain is focusing its efforts in the region between Chilliwack and Merritt where weather had the most affect and utilizing both our Expansion Project and operational resources to work towards restarting the pipeline. While a number of activities are underway simultaneously, a key priority is to get access to the affected areas, and we are actively assisting the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure with getting roads cleared.
Crews continued to make progress yesterday with assessments of the pipeline by air and on the ground, but access to some areas is still hampered by debris and washed-out roads and bridges. Restarting requires geotechnical evaluations of slope stability and on-the-ground analysis to determine if there is work required before we can safely resume operations. There are some areas where Trans Mountain will need to restore cover over the pipe or make other repairs to ensure integrity of the line where it has been exposed due to flooding.
Work on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project continues in many areas along the pipeline corridor – and crews in the Coquihalla and Merritt regions have been redeployed to assist with efforts to get the Trans Mountain Pipeline restarted. We are in contact with Emergency Management British Columbia and continue to offer our support and assistance where possible. We continue to assist the broader affected communities by clearing access roads, providing air transport for supplies and critical evacuations for medical incidents and offering beds at our Merritt Camp Community to local first responders and Indigenous communities.
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