Compliance Verification Activity Report: CV2021-197 - Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC

Overview

Compliance verification activity type: Field Inspection

Activity #: CV2021-197
Start date: 2020-09-28
End date: 2020-10-02

Team:

Regulated company: Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC

Operating company: Kinder Morgan Canada Inc

Province(s) / Territory(s):

Discipline(s):

Related events:

Rationale and scope:

Environment inspection of early construction works on Spread 3/4A of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project (TMEP) with IAMC Indigenous Monitors. The focus was watercourse crossings, clearing and surveying with emphasis on Traditional Land Use (TLU)sites. The scope also included inspection of Trans Mountain's North Thompson 6 Crossing and Replacement projects including verification of the interim caribou habitat restoration measures. These projects are not part of the TMEP.

Compliance tool(s) used:

Facility details

Facilities:

Regulatory requirements

Regulatory requirements that apply to this activity:

Regulatory instrument number(s):

Observations (no outstanding follow-up required)

Observation 1 - Watercourse Crossings

Date & time of visit: 2020-09-29 15:35

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Canoe River (BC-36) ~ KP 526
- Clearing activities had recently occurred in the vicinity of the Canoe River.
- Signage in place prohibiting re-fueling and indicating a 50 m riparian buffer zone. 
- The majority of the large diameter trees had been cleared within the riparian area.
- The stump of a large diameter tree was observed on the North bank to the west of the ditch line.The IAMC IM indicated that this was a CMT and questioned it's removal. See Information Request No. 1 - Culturally Modified Tree.

Unnamed Channel (BC-50) ~KP 540
- Watercourse crossing construction was complete at the time of the inspection.
- Riparian topsoil was stockpiled separately and labeled.
- Watercourse crossing signage (KP, watercourse ID, classification, fish-bearing status) and no fueling signs were in place.
- Stocked spill kit on site.
- Officers encountered the landowner who raised concerns regarding the size of culvert under the existing Trans Mountain Mainline (Line 1) at this location. See IR No. 2.

Unnamed Channel (BC-51) ~ KP 540
- Watercourse crossing was complete at the time of the inspection.
- Sediment fence installed and appeared effective
- Stocked spill kit on site.
- Clear span bridge (vehicle crossing) in place. Bridge deck and walls were lined with geotextile and the bridge deck was clean.
- Restored channel appeared consistent with upstream and downstream conditions.

Moonbeam Creek (BC-94) ~ KP 567
- Survey activities had been completed, stakes and flagging were observed for environmental features and boundaries
- Forested location with abundant vegetation and brush, including cedars and ferns
- Signage for spawning deterrents was observed on both banks
- Due to turbid conditions, spawning deterrents were not clearly visible. See Information Request No. 3 - Spawning Deterrents for additional information.

Serpentine Creek (BC-110) ~ KP 576
- Observed from north bank, forested location
- Surveying completed, staking and flagging was observed for environmental features and boundaries
- Signage for spawning deterrents observed on both banks
- One installed spawning deterrent was observed immediately adjacent to the north bank. A corner of the mat appeared dislodged and some sand and small rocks had accumulated in a small area. Officers were unable to confirm whether other deterrents were installed due to turbid water conditions. See IR. No. 3 for additional information

 

Compliance tool used: No compliance tool used

Observation 2 - Traditional Land Use (TLU) Sites

Date & time of visit: 2020-09-30 14:00

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

TLU Sites 30, 31, 32
- Three TLU sites located in the same general area.
- These sites are listed in the Resource Specific Mitigation Table (RSMT) as a Cultural Use Site (TLU-30) and Plant Gathering Sites.
- The Trans Mountain Indigenous Monitor Report for the sites was reviewed. It included the following details:

- IOs and IMs viewed the sites, which are located off the right-of-way. The area was staked (e.g., buffers, features, RoW), but no clearing or other construction activities had occurred.
- The sites were in a heavily forested area.
- Evidence of human occupation was observed (e.g., household materials & waste).
- No TLU concerns were raised by the IAMC IMs at these locations. 

Culturally Modified Tree
- The IAMC IM was aware of a CMT in the vicinity of the Canoe River. See Information Request No. 3 for additional information about this location.

Compliance tool used: No compliance tool used

Observation 3 - Indigenous Monitor Observation

Date & time of visit: 2020-09-30 12:00

Discipline: Indigenous Monitoring

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Additional observations recorded by IAMC Indigenous Monitors participating in the CER inspection. Any compliance-related observations that require specific regulatory follow-up have been recorded above.

CV2021-197 Spread3/4A

09/28/2020

09/29/202009/30/2020 10/01/2020Concerns 
 

Compliance tool used: No compliance tool used

Observation 4 - RoW Construction ~KP 540

Date & time of visit: 2020-10-01 12:00

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

- Mainline construction activities were in progress in the vicinity of KP 540 to Albreda Pump Station;
- RoW boundaries were staked; no tresspass was observed;
- Topsoil piles were staked and labeled;
- Gaps observed in windrows;
- Watercourse crossings BC-50 and BC-51 had been recently completed (see observation - Watercourse Crossings);
- Several (~3-5) pieces of equipment were randomly checked for spill kits, fire extinguisher, leaks and biosecurity cleaning stickers. No concerns were noted.
- A few (<5) small pieces of construction waste were observed. Trans Mountain representatives indicated that workers sweep their sites at the end of the work day for waste. Given that it was an active worksite, Officers are satisfied with the conditions observed.
- Temporary workspace used for storage of rocks  was observed that was not on the environmental alignment sheets. See IR No. 4 - Project Footprint.
 

Compliance tool used: No compliance tool used

Observation 5 - Information Request (IR) No. 1 - Culturally Modified Tree

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

The IAMC IM was previously aware of the presence of a CMT in the vicinity of the Canoe River.

The stump of the CMT was found and the stem of the tree, with the blaze visible, was found in a nearby log deck. The log deck was labeled "Logs for BC-36 Riparian Zone" and were stockpiled separately.

This CMT was not on the list of Traditional Land Use sites in the RSMTs. When asked about the site, Trans Mountain indicated that they have confidential agreements with Indigenous communities regarding CMTs and whether they are cleared in a given area and further that Trans Mountain's Indigenous Monitor and Resource Specialists review trees prior to to clearing.

Officers asked to see documentation demonstrating what mitigation had been applied to the site and viewed a copy of the report completed by the Trans Mountain IM.

The following was noted from the IM report:
- IM accompanied senior EI to determine if the tree could be removed;
- no TLU sites identified at that area;
- determined it was a suspected bearing tree
- a photograph of the CMT showed flagging tape labeled "IO STANTEC AP 003 CMT"

When asked for additional information Company Representatives stated:
- post-1846 CMT found by archeological crew;
- Trans Mountain engaged with affected Indigenous Community per procedure;
- the Trans Mountain IM can make an assessmnent on behalf of the community regarding confirmation of potential TLU sites.

Although not on the TLU list, this location is part of Table 2.0 - Heritage Resources, in the RSMT. Which states that the mitigation is to "engage with applicable Indigenous Groups for management recommendations".

Additional information is required to verify compliance.

 

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

1. Provide the archeological report(s) or assessment(s) for this site.
2. Outline the location relative to the pipeline footprint.
3. Outline details of the mitigation applied to this site.

Due date: 2020-12-17

Date closed: 2021-01-11
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 6 - IR No. 2 - Landowner Concerns

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Officers encountered the owner of the land around BC-50 who expressed concerns regardng the size of the culverts through which the watercourse flows across the existing Trans Mountain Mainline.

The landowner reported that the culverts are too small and that he frequently cleans it out to prevent recurrent flooding and washout of the RoW in this area. Company Representatives indicated that they would follow up with Trans Mountain land agents, who handle landowner concerns.

Officers require additional information about this potential environmental hazard (improperly sized culvert).

 

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

1. Indicate whether Trans Mountain was previously aware of this issue, and if so, provide a timeline of discussions with the landowner and measures taken to address the situation.

2. Outline any follow-up that occurred following the inspection.

Due date: 2020-12-17

Date closed: 2020-12-22
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 7 - IR No. 3 - Spawning Deterrents

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Moonbeam Creek (BC-94)
- Signage for spawning deterrents was observed on both banks
- Due to turbid conditions, spawning deterrents were not clearly visible.

Officers reviewed a summary of monitoring and maintenance records for Moonbeam Creek as part of a pre-inspection document request and noted the following:
- 14 September 2020:  a panel of spawning deterrent was found to be  dislodged and was located approximately 50 m downstream of centreline;
-  24 September 2020: the dislodged panel was reinstalled; a total of two panels in Moonbeam Creek.  

On 29 September 2020, Officers were able to make out a rough shape of the spawning deterrent(s) but were unable to verify the number of deterrents in place.

Serpentine Creek (BC-110)
- Signage for spawning deterrents observed on both banks
- One installed spawning deterrent was observed immediately adjacent to the north bank. A corner of the mat appeared dislodged and some sand and small rocks had accumulated in a small area. Officers were unable to confirm whether other deterrents were installed due to turbid water conditions.

Officers require additional information to verify compliance.


 

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

1. Provide additional details about how spawning deterrents are inspected, including, but not necessarily limited to:

2. Provide spawning deterrent installation records for both Moonbeam and Serpentine Creek, including diagrams of location of deterrent panels within the watercourse.

3. Provide inspection records for both Moonbeam and Serpentine Creeks since the time of the inspection.

Due date: 2020-12-17

Date closed: 2021-01-04
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 8 - IR No. 4 - Project Footprint

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Temporary workspace (TWS) used for rock storage was observed adjacent to the RoW at aprpoximately KP 540 + 575. This TWS was not on the environmental alignment sheets for the location and appeared to be outside the RoW boundaries.

Company Representatives indicated that the TWS is on private land and within the approved Project corridor.

Officers later confirmed that the TWS was within the approved corridor.

Additional information is required to verify compliance.

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

Provide documents showing that the process outlined in Section 6, pt 12 of the EPP was followed, including how it was determined whether additonal approvals were required.

Due date: 2020-12-17

Date closed: 2021-01-07
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 9 - North Thompson 6 Crossing Replacement Projects

Date & time of visit: 2020-09-29 12:00

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

South Bank
- Signage in place at access indicating site is being used for caribou habitat restoration
- The access road (i.e., dirt road) was blocked off with snow fence held in place with wood stakes and T-bars
- Two logs were laid across the access road; ~0.8 m in height
- Some areas of the RoW and HDD site appeared to have been seeded, with ~50-70% coverage
- Sediment fence at the SE end of the HDD site appeared ineffectual - partially downed. IOs indicated to Company Representatives that if the fence is necessary, it should be repaired, otherwise it is construction waste and should be removed. See Notice of Non-Compliance No. 1 - Construction Waste.
- Large logs were piled across the across the RoW of the decommissioned pipeline. The piles were approximately 1.5m in height and Officers are of the opinion that this would be likely be effective in limiting vehicle access along the RoW at that location.
- Coarse woody debris  was scattered along the new Line 1 RoW on the east side of the site, ranging in height from ~0.5 to 1 m which appeared to be effective at controlling access in this area.
- No line of sight mitigation was observed at this location. Trans Mountain indicated that it didn't have sufficient coarse woody debris available on the South Bank to build any visual barriers for line of sight mitigation. When asked why line of sight mitigation wasn't yet installed Trans Mountain indicated that transitions with the project lead staff had created delays, and that flooding in July created access challenges for the site. Trans Mountain indicated that temperatures in August were too hot for transporting live trees to be used in line of site mitigation barriers. Trans Mountain's rationale for not having installed the line of sight mitigation was that the South Bank is in an active flood plain and there isn't as much caribou habitat on this side of the crossing. See Notice of Non-Compliance No. 2 - Caribou mitigation
- IOs requested information regarding wildlife monitoring on wildlife cameras installed in the area. Trans Mountain wasn't able to provide a response as it indicated that there wasn't a lot of activity on the cameras, and that it may have to readjust their positions, and that data from the cameras hasn't actually been compiled or analysed as of yet. See Notice of Non-Compliance No. 2 - Caribou mitigation

North Bank
- Snow fence and signage was downed at the access road for entry to the North Bank
- The workspace was seeded with moderate regeneration. Coarse woody debris was scattered around the east side of the site with heights ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 m.
- No signs of erosion observed.
-  A wildlife camera was observed directed towards the workspace.
- Cedar and spruce stumps >45cm in height were observed at the perimeter of the workspace.
- Construction waste observed along access road. See Notice of Non-Compliance No. 1 - Construction Waste.

Compliance tool used: No compliance tool used

Observation 10 - North Thompson 6 Crossing Replacement Projects - Notice of Non-Compliance No. 1 - Construction Waste

Date & time of visit: 2020-09-29 12:00

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

As outlined above, construction waste was observed as follows:
- Partially downed sediment fence at the SE end of HDD site in a wetland area (South Bank).
- Several (10+) instances of downed/damanged/overgrown (i.e., ineffectual) sediment fence was observed along the access road on the North Bank. Other construction waste, including signange for environmental features was also observed along the access road and a mower blade was discovered on the site.

As Officers explained in the field, if this construction material is still required (e.g., sediment fences) it should be repaired so it is functioning as intended. Otherwise, it is construction waste and should be disposed of appropriately.
 

Compliance tool used: Notice of Non-compliance (NNC)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

1. Provide photographs and documentation demonstrating that the construction waste was removed, and when.

Due date: 2020-12-17

Date closed: 2021-01-05
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 11 - North Thompson 6 Crossing Replacement Projects - Notice of Non-Compliance No. 2 - Inadequate interim Caribou mitigation measures

Date & time of visit: 2020-09-29 12:00

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

The North Thompson Crossing 6 Projects included the decommissioning of the crossing of the Trans Mountain Mainline (i.e., Line 1) and construction of a replacement crossing. This work was approved under Orders XO-T260-005-2019 and MO-011-2019. 

In November 2019 Trans Mountain proposed (C03022) to implement interim restoration measures during site clean up and demobilization activities, such as:

Trans Mountain indicated that these measures would serve to provide interim access management and line of sight reduction until the completion of the TMEP in that location and the implementation of the permanent restoration measures. In January 2020, the Commission granted Trans Mountain’s request (C04158) and indicated that the interim measures were considered to be appropriate.

At the time of the inspection in September 2020, Officers noted the following:With respect to the permanent restoration measures, although not completed at the time of the inspection, the “deadline” under condition 6a required restoration completion within one year of construction (i.e., October 2020).

IOs are of the view that the interim restoration measures are inadequate and that Trans Mountain is not fulfilling its responsibility (as seen by the CER) to restore caribou habitat as much as possible or as soon as possible and are issuing a notice of non-compliance.
 

Compliance tool used: Notice of Non-compliance (NNC)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

To be filed with the Secretary’s Office:

  1. Trans Mountain will provide a response as to why it continued to re-install snow fence despite its ineffectiveness as access control, as well as if additional access control measures have been contemplated and if so, provide rationale for why these weren’t implemented.
  2. Outline the specifics of interim monitoring that will be conducted, including placement of cameras and how the data/photographs will be analysed (including frequency).
  3. Trans Mountain will provide a response as to why line of sight breaks were not installed on the south bank and its current plan for installation of this mitigation.
  4. Explain how/whether the delays and inadequacies in interim mitigation will impact the habitat restoration goals and targets for the site or if delays will be compensated for in the offset contribution.

Due date: 2020-12-17

Date closed: 2021-01-05
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 12 - IR 3.1 - Moonbeam Creek

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Follow-up to IR No. 3
 
The response to IR No. 3 indicates that a “likely redd” was identified approximately 200 m downstream of the construction footprint. No additional information about the likely redd is provided.
 
Officers note that this likely redd may be within the zone of influence (ZOI), which is the area likely to be affected by direct disturbance and sedimentation during construction and was established by Trans Mountain as a minimum of 300 m downstream of the centre of the proposed pipeline corridor at defined watercourses (A3S1Q9, p 121/403).
 
DFO’s Letter of Advice (LOA) for Moonbeam Creek (2 April 2020; C05588) indicates that the proposed works at Moonbeam Creek is not likely to result in a contravention of the Fisheries Act.
 
Officers note that DFO’s LOA considered Trans Mountain’s response to NEB IR 15 (22 June 2017; A84547). This IR response indicates “no potential for egg and larvae mortality” at Moonbeam Creek. 
 
Additionally, Officers note that Trans Mountain committed to a fall spawning survey for mountain whitefish the year prior to winter construction (1 Aug 2019; C00815).
 
Given the possible presence of a redd within the ZOI, additional information is required to verify compliance. 

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

  1. Provide the full inspection/monitoring report completed by the QEP on 28 October 2020 for Moonbeam Creek including any photographs of the “likely redd”.
  2. Provide the results of the fall spawning survey at Moonbeam Creek.
  3. Provide an assessment of potential impacts and whether additional mitigation will be implemented due to the presence of the “likely redd”.
  4. Provide a detailed schedule for construction at Moonbeam Creek, including a breakdown of when instream work will occur.
  5. Provide a summary of any discussions held with DFO regarding the "likely redd" at Moonbeam Creek.
  6. Provide a diagram of the site that includes the following:
    • location of "likely redd";
    • location of spawning deterrents;
    • vehicle and pipeline crossing locations; and
    • location of temporary work areas required for crossing.

Due date: 2021-01-31

Date closed: 2021-03-11
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observation 13 - IR 4.1 - Project Footprint - Management of Change (MoC)

Discipline: Environmental Protection

Categories:

Facility:

Observations:

Follow-up to IR No. 4
 
The MOC document submitted by Trans Mountain in response to IR No. 4 notes a heading/category for “Environmental Impacts” however these aren’t described, nor are any mitigations to be implemented. Trans Mountain will provide a response clarifying which environmental impacts were identified, including any unique features or sensitivities and which mitigations were implemented.

Compliance tool used: Information Request (IR)

Regulatory requirement:

Relevant section(s):

Company action required:

Trans Mountain will provide a response describing how environmental mitigation was applied in the off RoW TWS, including a description of and records of any pre-construction surveys conducted at this site (e.g., wildlife surveys, bird sweeps, TLU studies and/or walk throughs).

Due date: 2021-01-22

Date closed: 2021-03-16
Note: the date closed is the date that the inspector completed their review of the company corrective actions for adequacy and determined that no further actions are required.

Reason closed: Requirement met

Compliance achieved: Yes

Observations (company follow-up required)

Identified non-compliances to company plans or procedures are non-compliances either to:

- the condition of an authorization document that requires the implementation of that plan or procedure; or

- the relevant section of the regulations that requires implementation of that plan or procedure including those sections that require implementation of plans or procedures as a part of a Program