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The Challenge

Protect and preserve oceans and waterways for generations to come by building a world-class pipeline, marine terminal and marine operations with exceptional spill prevention and response.



Create the most comprehensive set of marine safeguards ever established in Canada to build a safe and sustainable project that protects the environment and preserves the way of life for First Nations and Métis peoples and all Canadians.

Incorporating Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge

First Nations and Métis communities offer valued Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge that will be used to enhance marine safety. They will have a direct and meaningful role in the environmental protection of lands and waters along the project’s pipeline route and in marine operations. In addition, with coastal First Nations and governments, Northern Gateway will seek to jointly design a global best practice emergency and spill response capacity that reflects the unique nature of British Columbia’s North Coast, making it safer for all vessels.

  • New radar and navigation aids make it safer for all vessels

    Northern Gateway will add land-based radar to the Wright Sound area for the first time, and install navigational aids throughout the Douglas Channel and other marine channels.

  • Only certified tankers will berth at our terminal

    Tankers must be double-hulled, not older than 20 years and meet all the requirements of our Tanker Acceptance Program. Crews must be certified by the International Maritime Organization and officers must be English speaking.

  • Master mariners will guide tankers in and out of port

    Only licensed, local B.C. Coast Pilots will guide the tankers. Loaded tankers will be escorted by two tugs — one of them tethered at all times. As an added precaution, tugs will carry spill response and firefighting equipment.

  • A safe and protected deepwater terminal

    A natural deepwater port, sheltered from open-water waves, with safe approaches and a suitable turning basin. Approximately 1,500 petrochemical tankers have docked there safely over the past 25 years.


Expert Perspectives

  • Advanced simulation backs our navigation plan

    We tested our tanker operations at a state-of-the-art marine simulator in Denmark. The result was an endorsement of the shipping route from government departments and the British Columbia Coast Pilots.

  • Care taken during land to marine transfer

    The Kitimat Terminal will include two tanker berths and 19 tanks for oil and condensate. While docked at the Terminal, tankers loading export oil will be surrounded by a containment boom.

  • An action plan for a swift and decisive spill response

    Our goal is zero spills. Should there ever be one, our action plan mandates a swift and decisive spill response. In such an event, manpower and equipment will be deployed promptly to respond to any spill on water.

  • A spill response capacity 3x better than required

    Our spill response capacity will be more than 3x the current Canadian regulation. Tanker escort tugs will carry emergency response and firefighting equipment to be able to respond immediately.

  • Trained emergency responders in place

    Our staff, contractors, and partners will be in place to maintain an enhanced state of readiness. Regular real-time first response drills will be held and reviewed, with continuous plan improvements being made.

  • Response equipment in strategic locations

    Emergency response equipment, crews and training staff will be stationed at key points and communities along the marine routes as identified by state-of-the-art computer modeling and logistical planning. The gear will be rigorously maintained in top working condition.