Actual construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion hasn’t yet begun in B.C. but the National Energy Board (NEB) has rapped the knuckles of the company regarding worker safety.
The NEB released a pre-construction audit of the project on Thursday, which evaluated the company’s preparedness to manage construction of its Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEX) in a way that assures worker safety and prevents incidents.
“The NEB concluded that Trans Mountain had not yet established, at the time of the audit, all of the necessary oversight measures to manage construction-related safety and environmental protection for the construction of the project,” according to an NEB press release.
The NEB recommended approval of the TMEX in May 2016 subject to 157 conditions. The federal government gave it the green light last November. The pipeline still does face opposition from the new NDP-led government in Victoria.
The controversial project is to twin the 1,150-kilometre oil pipeline built in 1953 to triple its capacity.
Most recently the NEB ordered a public hearing to discuss the company’s application to route through a residential portion of Sardis in Chilliwack in the existing right-of-way rather than the BC Hydro right-of-way approved by the NEB.
That has some neighbours in Chilliwack concerned the 1953 route will change and affect their backyards.
The NEB has also approved the construction of the Westridge Marine Terminal in Burnaby, saying the company has met the conditions set.
In response to the NEB’s pre-construction audit, Trans Mountain did file a corrective action plan (CAP), which has been approved by the NEB. As a result, the company can proceed with its construction where all requirements have been met.
“This pre-construction audit is one of our proactive tools for regulatory oversight for the NEB,” NEB chair and CEO Peter Watson said in the press release. “This is all about prevention and we believe that significant incidents can be avoided in the future by ensuring companies have the proper systems and processes in place even before they begin construction.”
The NEB will continue to review compliance activities and has the authority to stop work if compliance is not being maintained.