On Thursday, October 29th, WCMRC took part in the largest deployment exercise that Kinder Morgan Canada has ever simulated in Burrard Inlet. The exercise featured more than 300 participants from 20 emergency management agencies and responders. The drill took place outside of the company’s Westridge Marine facility in Burnaby, which is the intended end point for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion. The purpose of the full-scale response was to demonstrate a unified effort conceived to guard against oil spills.
The simulated oil spill drill was designed to evaluate Kinder Morgan’s emergency response plan following the mechanical failure of a loading arm that occurred while a ship was waiting to receive its cargo. As a result, an imagined 1,000 barrels of oil ended up spilling into Burrard Inlet. The response exercise did not entail releasing any substance into the water. To mitigate the impact of the oil spill, WCMRC was activated, and lent its specialized equipment and fleet of vessels to the mock cleanup efforts.
WCMRC played a major role in Thursday’s training exercise. The organization deployed vessels stationed in Burrard Inlet, an extra containment boom and dozens of responders. WCMRC also participated in the design of the emergency response exercise.
The objectives of the oil spill drill involved the positioning of a secondary boom within one hour of the emergency start time, executing protection boom techniques, demonstrating effective on-water communication among participants and agencies, and identifying various water temperature zones for incident site management.
In addition, an Incident Command Post (ICP) was established so that participants could practice the response plan and improve their understanding of inter-agency co-ordination and multi-jurisdictional roles and responsibilities.
Eight of its vessels, including the GM Penman, MJ Green and Burrard Cleaner No. 8