Trans Mountain pipeline restarted after precautionary shutdown

Dec 5 2021, 5:50 pm

The flooding emergency in BC created a cascade of logistical and infrastructure challenges across the province.

Now, the Trans Mountain pipeline has been restarted on Sunday, December 5 after a precautionary shutdown following heavy rains and flooding on BC’s south coast.

The pipeline provides the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island – which have been under gas restrictions for weeks – with fuel.

A safe shutdown of the pipeline happened in mid-November as historic weather hit the province. At the time, Trans Mountain said that to restart the pipeline, a “complete an assessment of the system in affected areas” would be required.

“Throughout the shutdown period, the pipeline remained safely in a static condition and there was no indication of any product release or serious damage to the pipe,” said Trans Mountain in a release on Saturday, December 4.

The investigation of the pipe’s integrity and accompanying geotechnical assessments have been completed and they’re ready to restart the line.

“Restarting the pipeline has required a significant, sustained effort to re-instate access lost due to damaged roads, changes in river flows, and adverse weather,” said Trans Mountain, who had crews working non-stop to clear roadways, build bridges, and manage watercourses to provide access and allow repairs to the pipeline.

The restart happened during the day on Sunday, December 5, with teams closely monitoring.

There were also emergency management teams and equipment on standby, and some areas have proactively deployed booms “in the unlikely event of a release,” said Trans Mountain.

The coming weeks will be busy for Trans Mountain with additional emergency work, inspections, armouring riverbanks, and adding ground cover to sections of the pipeline.

For the Lower Mainland, the restart could provide better access to fuel and lead to eased restrictions.

Sarah AndersonSarah Anderson

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