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Trans Mountain pipeline likely to be back in operation by end of the week

It's the longest shutdown in the line's 70-year history.
Exposed pipe in Coldwater River Valley.

An important pipeline that carries oil and refined fuels to B.C. could be back up and running by the end of this week.

In an update Monday, Trans Mountain Corporation says it has more than 350 people working around the clock to safely restart the Trans Mountain pipeline.

It was shut down as a precaution on Sunday, Nov. 14, in anticipation of the impacts of the heavy rainfall and extreme weather conditions.

It’s the longest shutdown in the 70-year history of the line, that carries crude oil and refined oil from Alberta to B.C.'s coast.

The pipe is being evaluated in affected areas and ground inspections should be done by the end of today. Some crews were airlifted in or had to hike to spots they couldn’t reach by road.

Six helicopters and an estimated 80 pieces of heavy equipment are being used in the Coquihalla and Coldwater regions to clear roads, install temporary bridges and re-divert watercourses that in some spots have flooded the pipeline right-of-way.

Trans Mountain says there is no indication of any loss of containment on the pipeline, but has set up spill-response equipment at control points, including containment booms in river areas near to or downstream from where work is underway.

If everything goes as planned, the pipeline should be restarted, in some capacity, by the end of the week.

The company is in regular contact with its shippers and is working in cooperation with the province to mitigate the effects of the pipeline shut down on the region.

Work on the Trans Mountain expansion project continues in many areas along the pipeline corridor. Crews in the Coquihalla and Merritt regions have been redeployed to assist with efforts to get the Trans Mountain pipeline restarted.

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