March 8, 2019
On March 8, 2019 the Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) informed Coastal GasLink that both the OGC and the provincial archaeological branch of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development (FLNRORD) have accepted the mitigation plan for Multi-Use Site 9A following the report of artifacts having been found at the site.
When Coastal GasLink was notified of the artifacts on Feb. 15, work at the site was immediately and voluntarily suspended and our Heritage Resource Discovery Contingency Plan put into place to protect the site.
Coastal GasLink contracted a qualified archeologist to develop an appropriate mitigation plan that would follow strict protocols in the event of further discoveries at the site.
The mitigation plan consists of the following three activities:
- Subsurface testing of topsoil pile;
- Intensive visual inspection of the disturbed area; and
- Ongoing monitoring throughout the construction and reclamation stages of the Project.
A full description of the activities is included in the mitigation plan and shared by the OGC with the legal counsel for members of the Unist’ot’en, should they wish to discuss the mitigation with the OGC.
In addition, the OGC informed Coastal GasLink that based on the presence of artifacts found at Site 9A, the province has included the site in British Columbia’s archaeology database.
The Archaeology Site Information Form filed by FLNRORD states:
“The small surface scatter was 100% collected and there was strong evidence suggesting that it was not in situ (artifacts were found sitting on top of a frozen slab of clay). Remaining sediments present are considered to be culturally sterile (clay). As such, legacy status is recommended for this site.”
Coastal GasLink looks forward to continuing to prepare site 9A for construction-related activities in accordance with our permits and archaeological mitigation plan.
The full OGC Information Bulletin can be found here.