Exercise Eastport 379 Full Scale Pipeline Exercise
International Safety Research (ISR) developed Exercise Eastport 379 to assess the progress of Trans Northern Pipeline’s (TNPI) Emergency Management Program (EMP). ISR assisted TNPI staff by leading the design, development and conduct of this Full Scale Exercise (FSE) which took place in Hamilton, ON in December 2015. The exercise scenario was designed to assess the progress of TNPI staff’s knowledge of response planning and incident command. It also evaluated how TNPI, municipal responders’ and supporting organizations’ worked together to respond to a release of petroleum products caused by a ruptured pipeline. The responders and scenario activities were divided between the incident command post (ICP) and an on-site field crew who responded together to contain the effects of the spill. ISR controlled the conduct of the exercise at each of the main locations and ensured that any delays or changes to the exercise schedule were appropriately relayed and managed. This exercise benefitted from the involvement of numerous organizations including local first responders, TNPI and their contractors, municipalities, First Nations and provincial and federal government officials.
ISR worked with members of the exercise design team (EDT), consisting of TNPI and its partners, to develop and refine a realistic scenario involving a pipeline rupture resulting in a leak of petroleum product along the Burlington waterway. ISR coordinated a series of exercise design meetings to develop the scenario and all relevant injects, in consideration of TNPI’s main objectives. ISR also implemented the inject simulation tool, ExCon.ca, to display exercise news articles that were generated based on the outcomes and progress of the exercise. These articles provided practice for TNPI’s public information officers who were participating in the exercise.
ISR worked with the exercise evaluators to assess and evaluate TNPI’s response plans and procedures. ISR collected the results of the evaluator’s feedback as well as specifically designed player feedback forms to develop a detailed list of response strengths and areas for improvement. Immediately following the exercise, ISR facilitated a hot wash with all the participants. The hot wash served to identify which plans and procedures were executed well, which were lacking direction or guidance or which new procedures could be implemented to improve the EMP. Following the exercise, ISR also conducted an in-depth after action review (AAR) with senior members of TNPI and members of the EDT. This AAR captured the lessons identified during the exercise and discussed in detail the strengths and areas for improvement identified during the hot wash.
Based on the conclusions of the evaluators’ assessments, hot wash and AAR, ISR developed a full set of recommendations for TNPI’s consideration to address the response gaps and challenges. These recommended actions served to aid TNPI in guiding the improvement of their EMP and identifying relevant persons of interest for implementation following the process of Acquire, Train, Exercise and Validate. TNPI will use these recommendations to establish priority on follow-up actions and implementation and will enact relevant recommendations based on risk assessments and business needs.