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B.C. extends gas rationing, state of emergency until Dec. 14 as Trans Mountain remains offline

Limit of 30 litres per gas station visit applies to southwest B.C.

The province is extending its gasoline rationing measures in the southwest region of B.C. until Dec. 14.

The state of emergency will remain until that time as well.

Energy Minister Bruce Ralston said that retailers and motorists have cooperated with the gas rationing measures, which set limits at 30 litres per visit in southwestern B.C.

“We have been able to maintain a steady fuel supply to the region,” Ralston said.

The fuel restrictions apply only to non-essential and non-commercial motorists; commercial operators can continue to fill up without restrictions, typically using card-lock gas stations.

The Trans Mountain pipeline, which has be down since Nov. 14, normally brings about 85 per cent of the fuel required for refining at B.C.’s sole refinery in Burnaby.

“The sourcing from the United States has been very effective as well as CP Rail bringing in fuel from Alberta,” Ralston said, adding that the pipeline was expected to be back online “soon,” but that when it does return it will be operating at reduced pressure.

However, Ralston noted, the incoming atmospheric river could delay reopening as it begins to drench the province on Tuesday.

“We know that a large weather system is expected to hit in the days ahead,” he said. “What we don’t know is what impact that will have on our railways, roads, and the pipeline infrastructure in the province.”

However, Ralston urged drivers to continue to conserve gas so that commercial truck drivers and other essential motorists can be assured of a constant supply of fuel.

“So if you don’t have to be on the road, don’t drive; if you only need a quarter tank of gas leave the rest for the person behind you.”

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