Kinder Morgan, the company behind the proposed Trans Mountain twinning project, held an emergency training exercise on the Nicola River in Lions Memorial park and N’Kwala Park on May 19.

Participants practiced the company’s emergency response plans and equipment deployment used to clean up any potential spills which could occur on the Nicola River. The exercise did not involve any real oil being spilled.

A containment boom was strung across the river to catch the hypothetical oil from a hypothetical spill upstream.

In the event of a spill, the boom funnels the oil toward a skimmer that collects the oil and some water, which is then pumped out of the river.

“That’s [the] way Kinder Morgan works, they come into the community and show the community the things they can do, and how fast they can look after stuff,” said Merritt’s Mayor Neil Menard.

The purpose of the training exercise in Merritt was primarily to test the validity of a potential control point on the Nicola River and the suitability for the location to become a geographic response plan for the Kamloops District.