Trans Mountain Receives NEB Clearance To Start B.C. Terminal Work

Trans Mountain's Burnaby facilities

The National Energy Board (NEB) has cleared Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC to begin construction at the Burnaby terminal, Westridge Marine terminal (WMT) and Burnaby Mountain tunnel portal by Aug. 5, 2019.

However, the board declined Trans Mountain’s request that it also be allowed to start work on the Edmonton terminal by the same date. The company had applied to vary the applicable NEB order for the Edmonton terminal West Tank Area to modify the tanks and secondary containment in that area.

The NEB said it is still processing the request for relief as well as associated applicable pre-construction conditions. The board has asked Trans Mountain to provide additional information on spill management system design; fire water reservoir sizing and design; and secondary containment overflow due to tornadoes. The company is to respond to the information request by Aug. 23, 2019.

Trans Mountain told the NEB the terminal work must begin by Aug. 5, 2019, to avoid seasonal restrictions. “If commencement of the terminal work is delayed beyond Aug. 5, 2019, the entire project schedule may be jeopardized,” it said.

At the Edmonton terminal, earthworks and tank foundation installation must occur before the ground freezes to avoid structural risks in the tank foundations and starting construction by that date accommodates this seasonal restriction, said the company.

In a letter informing Trans Mountain it could proceed with the West Coast facilities work, the board noted that at the time of the request for relief the NEB had been in the process of holding a public comment process on resuming the regulatory processes for the expansion project.

On July 19, 2019, the board issued its process decision which states that issued decisions or orders remain valid unless and until the board issues a decision to amend or overturn the prior decision or order.

“As the board had provided clearance on all applicable pre-construction conditions for the WMT and the Burnaby terminal, construction may commence with respect to these phases of the project,” said the NEB. “With respect to the Westridge tunnel portal site, the board had issued two relief decisions with regard to this work. As such, this work can re-commence construction.”