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Latest Updates on the Trans Mountain Expansion Project: May 15, 2020 – Westridge Delivery Line Relocation decision

Press Release

May 15, 2020 – Westridge Delivery Line Relocation decision

Today, the Commission of the CER released its decision on the application for the 3.6-kilometre-long Westridge Delivery Line Relocation, finding that it is in the public interest.

The project will replace an existing delivery line that currently transports oil from the Burnaby Terminal to the Westridge Marine terminal through residential areas of Burnaby. The new delivery line will use the same tunnel through Burnaby Mountain as the two other delivery lines that are part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP). The full decision can be found here [Filing C06322].

Temporary physical disturbance caused by construction of the new delivery line is anticipated only at the proposed entry and exit points for the tunnel, both of which are within the fence lines of Trans Mountain-owned, industrial-zoned land at the Burnaby Terminal and Westridge Marine Terminal. Once the new delivery line is operational, the CER expects Trans Mountain to file an application to decommission the existing delivery line.

Based on Trans Mountain’s current schedule, tunneling activities through Burnaby Mountain are expected to commence in the fall/winter of 2020 and take upwards of two years to complete.

The new delivery line will not result in an increase in the approved volume of transported oil, and its location through Burnaby Mountain is responsive to previous feedback from residents requesting that the existing delivery line be moved from under Burnaby’s streets. This is consistent with the previous National Energy Board finding in the TMEP Certificate hearing that routing the two new TMEP delivery lines through Burnaby Mountain “is the preferable route because it avoids residential areas and urban infrastructure, reduces environmental effects during construction and operation, and minimizes risk during operation.”

TMEP oversight work continuing during the pandemic:

The Commission of the CER has issued 20 condition compliance and operations decisions in the two months since the COVID-19 global pandemic. These include letter reports, information requests and other non-routing variances and general decisions. These filings can be found on the CER’s condition compliance page.

During the same time period, in regards to detailed route matters, the Commission has issued 28 documents, including 12 procedural directives, five letters setting out comment processes, three informative letters, two detailed route hearing decision documents (covering three hearings), three information requests, one Hearing Order, one decision and one PPBoR approval. The CER’s website provides more information on the detailed route process.

Aligned with advice from federal and provincial authorities aimed at protecting public health, CER staff are continuing compliance verification activities during the pandemic and will verify that Trans Mountain has a plan that protects workers and communities. As construction activities change, the CER will adjust its compliance oversight to ensure public safety and environmental protection. More information can be found on the CER’s pandemic response page.

April 24, 2020 – CER’s regulatory oversight of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project during the COVID-19 pandemic

At the CER, we work with all of our regulated companies, including Trans Mountain, to ensure they are keeping people safe through the use of enhanced and additional health and safety practices at all times.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, this includes having a plan that protects people while maintaining oversight activities. We do this by deferring non-essential activities and carrying out work in ways that limit physical interactions.

Trans Mountain is proceeding with construction of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, with active construction at the Westridge and Burnaby terminals. Pipeline construction in Alberta is largely paused for spring thaw and break up, and there is no active pipeline construction in British Columbia at this time.

The company is also not currently housing workers in large scale construction camps. As construction activities change, the CER will adjust its compliance oversight to ensure public safety and environmental protection.

During the pandemic, the CER is finding innovative ways to perform our Compliance Verification Activity role effectively while being mindful of safety. This includes a number of compliance activities underway that are being conducted remotely, allowing us to collect the information we need to make sure the rules are being followed. We will also continue performing in-field inspections, and are adapting our procedures and processes to ensure those inspections can be done safely, consistent with public and occupational health requirements.

As with before the pandemic, the CER will not hesitate to take action to enforce compliance with our regulations. In the unlikely event of an emergency, the CER continues to be prepared to respond.

Our collaborative work with the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC) is integral to our oversight of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project during the pandemic, as this partnership is critical to our understanding of the issues and interests of many Indigenous communities along the route. We are committed to performing compliance verification activities and in-field inspections jointly with Indigenous monitors, as part of the Indigenous Advisory and Monitoring Committee (IAMC) work. This work will be done with the utmost regard to safety, so our inspectors, Indigenous monitors, workers and communities are protected.

We are actively reviewing how Trans Mountain is complying with all federal, provincial and municipal requirements to prevent and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at its construction sites and in surrounding communities. The company also released a detailed public statement on March 30 about its precautionary measures in light of the pandemic.

On April 21, 2020, the Commission of the CER announced several procedural changes to the remaining detailed route hearings for the Trans Mountain Expansion Project in light of the ongoing pandemic and advice from federal and provincial authorities aimed at protecting public health. This includes replacing the oral portions of all detailed route hearings with alternate formats not requiring in-person attendance. The changes will allow detailed route hearings to proceed in a fair and transparent manner, while respecting the physical distance requirements for participants.

Learn more about the CER’s response to COVID-19:

February 19, 2020 – Update to detailed route hearings

Following landowner withdrawals in each of the detailed route hearings announced by the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) along Segments 1-4 of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, there are currently no hearings scheduled to take place in those segments. Segments 1-4 stretches from Edmonton to Darfield, B.C. just north of Kamloops.

There are now 30 detailed route hearings remaining for Segments 5-7, stretching from just north of Kamloops through to Burnaby, B.C. Oral portions of these hearings are scheduled to begin in April. The Commission will announce details of these hearings once they are known.

Please see the ‘status of detailed route hearings’ chart for more information on the detailed route approval process.

January 31, 2020 – Detailed route hearings and approvals

Detailed route hearings for the western portion of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project, stretching from south of Kamloops, B.C. through to Burnaby B.C. (segments 5 through 7) have been set out and the oral portions are anticipated to be held through the spring and summer of 2020.

In a series of Hearing Orders and other correspondence released today, the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) outlined how it plans to proceed with these hearings.

The Commission has decided to consider STSA’s and Coldwater’s opposition to the detailed route in phases, in order to properly consider evidence filed by multiple interested parties related to the same lands, and to evaluate outstanding condition filings related to those lands.

The Commission will provide specific details of when and where the oral portions of these detailed route hearings will be held as soon as the information is finalized.

Detailed route hearings are held where an objection to the detailed route exists. In the hearings, the Commission will determine whether the proposed location of the pipeline is the best possible route, and whether the proposed methods and timing of construction are the most appropriate. Landowners whose lands would be crossed by the pipeline, as well as Indigenous peoples and other persons whose lands may be adversely affected were able to object to Trans Mountain’s proposed detailed route.

Procedural Direction – Organization of all 5, 6, and 7 hearings [Filing C04458]
Ruling to Trans Mountain regarding the design of the Coldwater Indian Band (Coldwater) hearing [Filing C04453]
Procedural Direction regarding the design of the S’ólh Téméxw Stewardship Alliance (STSA) hearing [Filing C04456]
Hearing Order – Hearings that overlap with the STSA only [Filing C04475]
Hearing Order – Langley area hearings [Filing C04465]
Hearing Order – Chilliwack area hearings [Filing C04466]
Hearing Order – STSA Phase 1 hearing [Filing C04468]
Hearing Order – Coldwater Phase 1 hearing [Filing C04472]

December 20, 2019 – Detailed route hearings in B.C.

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The Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator has now approved 65 per cent of the total route of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP). Oral hearings are set to take place in January and February, 2020, for the six hearings within Segments 2-4. Decisions on timing related to the hearings for Segmentsr 5 to 7 will be decided in the new year.

The purpose of the detailed route hearings processes is to allow the Commission to determine the exact placement of the pipeline on the tracts of land that it crosses, as well as the most appropriate methods and timing of construction. Landowners or other affected parties were able to object to the detailed route proposed. The Commission decided to hold hearings where material changes in circumstances were identified, or where those with past hearings advised the Commission that they still objected.

Construction activities on the TMEP are only permitted in areas where all project conditions have been satisfied and the location of the pipeline route has been finalized through the detailed route process.

For a more detailed view of these approved portions of the route, known as the Plan, Profile and Book of Reference (PPBoR), please refer to the Status of 2019 detailed route (PPBoR) approvals table.

November 15, 2019 – Detailed route hearings and approvals

The deadlines to file a Statement of Opposition (SOO) have now passed for the majority of the Project route (excluding a small number of lands where service is still outstanding or service may have occurred, but the 30 day period has not yet closed.) The Commission is now assessing the approximately 96 SOOs received for the entire proposed route and determining next steps for detailed route proceedings. As the Commission issues decisions on SOOs it will also be issuing Hearing Orders for the valid SOOs, which outline the process steps and deadlines for how these hearings will proceed. The hearing process steps will vary depending on whether the Commission has granted a new hearing, is resuming a previous detailed route hearing, or reviewing a previously issued decision.

The first Hearing Orders for the 2019 detailed route hearings have now been issued for the Edmonton-Jasper segment of the route [Filing C03035]. The status of 2019 detailed route hearings table shows all of the SOO decisions that have been made to date and what detailed route processes have been granted relative to which segments of the route. This information will be updated as the Commission issues further SOO decisions.

As the Commission issues decisions on SOOs, it is also able to approve portions of the detailed route, known as the Plan, Profile, and Book of Reference (PPBoR) sheets. PPBoR sheets with lands subject to active detailed route processes and, in some cases, lands adjacent to those (also referred to as buffers to maintain routing flexibility, if required) cannot be approved until the Commission issues the relevant hearing process decisions. The status of 2019 detailed route (PPBoR) approvals table shows which portions of the route have been approved to date. This information will be updated as the Commission issues further approvals.

October 10, 2019 – Construction in greater Edmonton area

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Following approval of the detailed route for Segment 1 [Filing C01777] on September 23, 2019, and having satisfied the applicable pre-construction conditions, Trans Mountain is able to construct in the greater Edmonton area. Construction activities could include clearing, work at temporary infrastructure sites, such as storage yards and construction office locations, as well as certain Horizontal Directional Drilling and watercourse crossing work taking place over the next several weeks. Trans Mountain’s October Construction Schedule [Filing C02009] identifies the company’s anticipated major construction activities and timelines and is updated monthly as per Condition 62.

Segment 1 covers approximately 49 kilometers in the greater Edmonton area, and represents roughly 5% of the total 991 kilometers of new buried pipeline required for the Project.

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