Coastal GasLink Halts Clearing Work Near Kitimat

John Crawford
08/02/2019

Coastal GasLink says it has suspended all clearing activity in an area east of Kitimat, after discovering that some work had been done there before archaeological assessments were complete.

The company says the error was discovered through an internal audit, and it voluntarily reported the incidents to the BC Oil and Gas Commission and to the BC Environmental Assessment Office.

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Archaeological assessments are required under terms of the pipeline project's permits, and Coastal GasLink President David Pfeiffer said he deeply regrets the error. 

The company says it has notified the impacted Indigenous communities, to make them aware of the issue and to welcome their participation in proposed post-impact assessments.

It also promised that actions would be taken to prevent this from happening again.

The Coastal GasLink pipeline would link the LNG Canada project being built at Kitimat to the natural gas fields near Dawson Creek.


=== CGL NEWS RELEASE BELOW ===
 

PROJECT UPDATE

August 1, 2019

In the course of undertaking an internal audit of Archaeological Impact Assessments (AIA) across the 670-kilometre right-of-way, Coastal GasLink has discovered a number of instances where approved AIAs were not in place prior to start of construction.

As a condition of our permit issued by the BC Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) and our Environmental Assessment Certificate, Coastal GasLink is required to have approved AIAs in place for areas in advance of land disturbance.

Our audit determined that this did not take place for two areas on the right-of-way in Section 8, near kilometre posts (KP) 585 and 631. 

At KP 585, an area of approximately 600 metres long by 50 metres wide was cleared without an approved AIA in place. Areas adjacent to this location did have an approved AIA and were identified as low likelihood of archaeological significance. While clearing activities have taken place, minimal ground disturbance has occurred since the area has been used for transit and corduroy mats had been placed to limit disturbance.

At KP 631, due to a re-route, an area of approximately 240 metres by 10 metres was cleared without an AIA being completed. Areas adjacent to this location did have an approved AIA and were identified as low likelihood of archaeological significance.

Coastal GasLink has voluntarily self-disclosed these incidents to the BC OGC and informed the BC Environmental Assessment Office. Coastal GasLink has suspended all clearing activity in Section 8 until an internal review is completed and actions are taken to eliminate the potential for similar incidents in future. We have also notified the impacted Indigenous communities, to make them aware of the issue and to welcome their participation in proposed post-impact assessments.

Quote from David Pfeiffer, President, Coastal GasLink Pipelines Ltd.

“Coastal GasLink is committed to protecting the environmental and cultural values of British Columbia during construction and operation of our natural gas pipeline.

Coastal GasLink regrets the errors that led to construction activities taking place without having approved Archaeological Impact Assessments in place prior to start of construction.

I have directed the team to complete a thorough investigation of these incidents and have halted clearing work in the area until the investigation is complete and recommendations are put into practice.

I have also apologized to the impacted Indigenous communities and requested their participation in a proposed post-impact assessment.”

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