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Facility fire safety for Trans Mountain Pipeline

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World Pipelines,

The Trans Mountain Pipeline and its associated facilities, such as pump stations and storage terminals, are prepared for all kinds of natural hazards that could pose a concern to Trans Mountain’s operations like earthquakes, seasonal flooding or wildfires.

In case of a fire, all Trans Mountain’s facilities are designed and operated to industry best practices and meet the most stringent fire safety standards. For example, fire-safe operations at Trans Mountain’s Burnaby Terminal include measures for early detection and fire suppression systems, operational procedures to reduce possible risks, training exercises, site-specific fire pre-plans, regular National Energy Board (NEB) audits and compliance with the American Petroleum Institute and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards.

In 65 years of operation, Trans Mountain has never had a storage tank fire at one of its terminals. Although tank fires worldwide are extremely rare, Trans Mountain’s prevention and emergency management programme is an integral part of keeping the company’s terminals operating safely.

However, in the rare case of a fire incident at the Burnaby Terminal, or nearby, Trans Mountain Emergency Response Technicians are prepared to respond by activating Burnaby Terminal’s Fire Pre-Plan. Trans Mountain has a number of additional safety measures specifically at the Burnaby Terminal, such as 24/7 monitoring for early fire detection and an advanced on-site fire suppression system, which includes a rapidly deployable specialised sprinkler system to counteract fire advancements either on-site or if one has the potential to migrate onto Trans Mountain’s property. This system is designed for Wildfire-Urban Structure Protection and can be deployed along Trans Mountain’s fence line.

As part of the Expansion Project, Trans Mountain has enhanced its emergency response plans to address the requirements of the expanded system. Trans Mountain is also introducing new preventative and mitigation measures designed to reduce the risk of fires and spills, many of which exceed regulatory requirements.

At Burnaby Terminal, the Expansion Project-related fire-protection enhancements include a larger fire-water reservoir, new high-capacity fire-water pump and foam systems, dual early fire detection systems, remote-activated fire suppression systems and a mobile firefighting system that includes a foam trailer, foam cannon and firefighting equipment.

In 2017, Trans Mountain submitted an updated risk assessment for Burnaby Terminal, conducted by third-party technical experts. The report concluded the fire risks at Burnaby Terminal are extremely low and in accordance with the criteria set out by the Major Industrial Accidents Council of Canada. It also states that through terminal design, mitigation measures and emergency procedures, the risks associated with the expansion are reduced significantly.

More information on Trans Mountain’s Emergency Response Plan (ERP) is available online. The document covers all emergencies that could originate at inland terminals and storage facilities, including spills, natural hazards and fires.

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