The Trans Mountain pipeline is set to restart Monday after record-setting rainfall, devastating flooding and landslides last month prompted a three-week precautionary shutdown that led to fuel rationing in parts of B.C.
Drivers who aren’t operating essential vehicles have been asked to limit their fuel purchases to 30 litres per visit to a gas station until Dec. 14. The restrictions are in place on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, as well as in the Lower Mainland from Vancouver to Hope, the Sea-to-Sky region, and the Sunshine Coast.
Trans Mountain Corp. said Saturday it has completed detailed investigations of the integrity of the 1,150-kilometre pipeline, which 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 is safe to restart.
It said the restart will take place Monday, subject to approval by the Canada Energy Regulator, and the pipeline will be closely monitored with emergency management teams set up in key areas “in the unlikely event of a release.”
The company said 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.
Additional work in the coming weeks will include the “armouring of riverbanks” and adding ground cover or relocating sections of the pipeline, it said.
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.