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Trans Mountain Pipeline has restarted, but B.C. gas rationing will remain in place for now, province says


The Trans Mountain Pipeline restarted Sunday, but the B.C. government says it's not yet ready to lift a fuel-rationing order for the southwestern part of the province.

Trans Mountain announced Saturday that it planned to resume operation of the pipeline after a nearly three-week precautionary shutdown prompted by the extreme weather that struck the province last month. 

On Sunday, the company said the pipeline had "safely restarted," adding that crews would continue monitoring it from the ground, the air and the pipeline's control centre.

In a statement to CTV News Vancouver, Emergency Management B.C. said it was "encouraged" by the resumption of operations at the pipeline, which transports roughly 300,000 barrels of oil from Alberta to Burnaby each day under normal circumstances.

The closure of the pipeline - along with the damage to several major highways between the Lower Mainland and the B.C. Interior - was a primary reason that the provincial government introduced its fuel-rationing order.

The order applies to the southwestern portion of the province, including the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, the Sunshine Coast and the Sea to Sky corridor, and limits drivers to 30 litres of gasoline per fill-up.

On Sunday, Emergency Management B.C. said the 30-litre limit would remain in place for the time being, despite the pipeline's restart.

"This will not be an immediate switch and will take time to resume normal operations," the agency said in its statement.

The fuel-rationing order was originally scheduled to end on Dec. 1, but it was extended two weeks, along with B.C.'s flood-related state of emergency, in late November.

It's unclear whether the 30-litre limit will remain in place through Dec. 14 as scheduled, but EMBC says it's staying for now.

"The fuel order will remain in effect to prioritize essential vehicles and will be reevaluated as the Province continues to recover from the recent weather events," the agency said.

"We all must continue to do our part and limit our fuel consumption and take transit when possible. British Columbians have stepped up in big ways and we are confident this can continue for the next little while." Top Stories

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