July 3, 2019
Coastal GasLink is undertaking field work, including water course mapping and stream testing as the project progresses its construction planning and preliminary work across the pipeline corridor.
As part of our permit application process, Coastal GasLink undertook detailed assessments of the 670-kilometre route. This included working with highly specialized scientists and engineers, as well as Indigenous community members in order to identify areas of importance or significance that would need mitigation measures or protection during construction.
Coastal GasLink was successful in receiving the certificates and permits necessary from B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office and Oil and Gas Commission to allow us to begin construction activities.
Some permit conditions specifically pertain to water protection – including water quality and aquatic habitats, for fish and amphibian species. Our environmental monitoring and protection program included mapping watercourses and completing field assessments for each watercourse. These assessments test the quality of water and habitat which allow Coastal GasLink to actively undertake protection measures and monitoring for watercourse crossings throughout construction.
“Over the past few years we’ve gone out and put boots on the ground to identify important environmental resources before we start construction,” noted Kim Ogilvie, Manager of Environment and Permitting for Coastal GasLink. “When it comes to water, we have mapped each and every single watercourse and stream so that we’re really clear about where these watercourses are and we can ensure that we put measures in place to support the diversity of habitat and aquatic species.”
Many of the studies we have undertaken are to assess baseline conditions to help finalize construction plans, which includes identifying the best crossing locations, crossing methods and timing for construction.
Through July, our teams are in the field along the route from Chetwynd to Kitimat, testing water quality as part of a larger program for fish habitat observations and stream classifications called the Stream Screening Program (SSP).
Melinda Bahr, Stantec’s Aquatics Lead in Terrace explains that crews are assessing the stream habitat and water quality at watercourse crossings along the project route.
“The teams will provide information for each crossing that will determine the mitigation that occurs during construction to protect the aquatic resource.
The information we collect will help inform the mitigation measures to implement at the watercourse crossings. Our environmental management plans also provide strict instruction to the construction crews as to how to undertake construction in and around rivers, lakes and streams.”
At Coastal GasLink, we are committed to protecting British Columbia’s land, water and cultural resources as we create jobs and economic opportunity for northern communities, B.C. and Canada.