DAWSON CREEK, B.C. — An agreement has been struck between the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) and Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. (CGL) to better control soil risks.
The two parties have entered into a compliance agreement that requires CGL to follow more proactive measures to control erosion and sedimentation for all new construction along the CGL pipeline route.
The measures outlined in the agreement are intended to protect sensitive wetlands and watercourses from sedimentation caused by erosion, which can negatively impact fish, fish habitat, wildlife and other important values.
The agreement requires CGL to improve staff training and provide stronger and more qualified leadership onsite to oversee construction activities. They must also develop comprehensive, detailed erosion and sediment management plans for all new construction, prioritizing erosion prevention over sediment control. The plans must be reviewed by an independent erosion and sediment-control expert and approved by the EAO before any new ground can be broken. Onsite inspections by an independent expert, as well as ongoing maintenance to prevent erosion and control sediment, will also continue in all areas of the project.
Breaking the agreement could result in escalating enforcement action, up to and including stop-work orders.
The agreement covers approximately 100 kilometres of the 670-kilometre pipeline where ground has yet to be broken. Existing requirements under the environmental assessment certificate for erosion and sediment control continue to apply to all activity along the pipeline route.
Inspections of sites under construction conducted in spring 2022 identified a number of issues of non-compliance with erosion and sediment-control requirements that still must be addressed by CGL. The EAO states it is considering further financial penalties based on these previously identified issues.
“The EAO continues to monitor construction of the pipeline project to ensure potential impacts to the environment and wildlife are mitigated. EAO compliance and enforcement officers, as well as independent erosion and sediment-control auditors, will conduct ongoing inspections of construction activities,” said the office, adding more than 50 inspections have been carried out since construction on the project began in 2018.
The CGL pipeline aims to link natural gas facilities west of Dawson Creek to the LNG Canada export facility near Kitimat, which is also under construction.