Trans Mountain pipeline restarts after shutdown during B.C. floods

Trans Mountain pipeline Source: Trans Mountain

The Trans Mountain pipeline restarted Sunday following a three-week precautionary shutdown in response to record-setting rainfall, devastating flooding and landslides in British Columbia last month.

Trans Mountain Corp. says it completed detailed investigations of the integrity of the 1,150-km pipeline that carries 300,000 barrels per day of petroleum products from Alberta to B.C., as well as geotechnical assessments of the surrounding landscape to confirm it's safe to restart.

It says the restart would take place on Sunday, subject to approval by the Canada Energy Regulator, and the pipeline would be closely monitored with emergency management teams set up in key areas "in the unlikely event of a release.''

The company says restarting the pipeline has required “a significant, sustained effort'' to re-establish access lost due to damaged roads, changes in river flows and adverse weather during the shutdown that began Nov. 14.

The federal Crown corporation says the pipe “remained safely in a static condition'' during the shutdown with no indication of serious damage.

It says additional work in the coming weeks will include the “armouring of riverbanks'' and adding ground cover or relocating sections of the pipeline.

Trans Mountain is the only pipeline in North America that carries both oil and refined products, and the shutdown has been the longest in its history.

The B.C. government had asked residents to limit their fuel purchases to 30 litres per visit to a gas station until Dec. 14 in response to the shutdown.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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