Jamie Kereliuk: Enhancing our Emergency Management Program to Protect our Communities

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Guest post: Jamie Kereliuk, Director, Emergency Management

Our top priority is the safety of the communities where our Trans Mountain pipeline system operates. Our dedicated Emergency Management team understands the most critical and responsible emergency management strategy is to prevent an incident from occurring at all.

However, in the rare case of an emergency, we have detailed emergency response procedures and trained professionals who are fully prepared to quickly respond to any type of incident anywhere along the pipeline system.

As part of our ongoing commitment to safety and emergency preparedness, our emergency response plans are continually reviewed, revised, exercised and communicated with first responders, local government, and safety agencies all along the pipeline system.  We also continually assess new and emerging practices to ensure we are applying the best available technologies to protect our pipeline and terminals.  

When the Government of Canada granted approval for the Expansion Project in December 2016 it was subject to 157 required conditions from the NEB; including conditions to enhance our emergency response plans along the pipeline and at our facilities. We have been seeking input from public safety agencies, municipalities and Aboriginal groups to enhance these plans with a greater focus on geographic response planning.

Prior to operations of the expanded pipeline, we will complete full-scale emergency response exercises at our Burnaby Storage Terminal on Burnaby Mountain, and at our Westridge Marine Terminal, located on Burrard Inlet.

We conduct more than 20 exercises, equipment deployment drills and training opportunities each year and invite local agencies and first responders to participate or observe. In 2015, we conducted the company’s largest emergency exercise to date at our Marine Terminal in Burnaby. The drill also included implementing a coordinated response with more than 300 participants from 20 emergency management agencies and responders, including Western Canada Marine Response Corporation’s on-water response team.

We understand communities along the pipeline corridor are concerned about emergencies.   With our enhanced response plans, response equipment available locally, trained personnel and our emergency exercises, we are confident in our experience to quickly and effectively respond to these rare events.

Our Emergency Management team is working hard to ensure when the expansion goes into operation, the enhanced Emergency Management Program will meet the needs of the twinned system. I am proud of the Program we have in place today, and I take pride in the team planning the future of our Emergency Management Program.

Our goal is to operate, manage and protect the pipeline system so that our emergency response plans are never used, while being fully prepared for any type of incident. 

Learn more about our emergency response plans here.