Coastal GasLink has received stop work orders from the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on an approximately 20-km stretch of the project route in Section 3, near the Anzac River, North of Prince George, B.C. Two weeks prior to the latest orders being issued, we halted the majority of construction in the area, so that we could enhance our erosion and sediment control measures during this challenging Spring melt season.
In addition, we have taken the added precautionary step of pausing construction across numerous project work fronts out of an abundance of caution, including non-critical construction work across Section 3. While most construction work has already been paused due to seasonal spring melt, we are dedicating additional crews to erosion and sediment control as well as critical work that would otherwise impact the environment if paused.
Mountainous terrain near the Anzac River in Section 3 of Coastal GasLink’s project route, May 2, 2023. High snow pack, intense rainfall, and steep geography are challenging erosion and sediment control on the project during spring melt.
British Columbia has some of the most challenging technical and elemental conditions in North America, with fast-changing mountain conditions in the higher elevations, and even flood events in lower valley bottoms. Like many parts of B.C., the project route experienced high volumes of snow this winter. In Section 3, our crews hauled 5000 truckloads of snow off the project route and are working hard to protect watercourses around us. This has been made more challenging with the recent spike in temperature and exceptionally high rainfall events in the region. The complex terrain in Section 3 within the Rocky Mountains also includes high elevation and steep slopes into our work sites.
To ensure we are doing all we can during this important season, we have launched a third-party expert review of our erosion and sediment control plans and their implementation in Section 3. This review will help us identify if any additional measures are required to support our response.
We will continue to evaluate conditions and respond to water management issues if and as they arise across the project throughout the Spring melt season. We recognize that the communities and ecosystem around us rely upon the health of our watercourses. They are vitally important to us too and we are committed to doing all we can to protect them during this important season.
Construction safely progresses along select sections of the 670-km project route, with a scheduled ramp down in work during spring melt. We continue to be on track to complete construction by the end of 2023, with approximately 87 per cent of the project complete.
Spring melt refers to the time of year when construction work, such as pipe installation, is reduced due to soft ground conditions caused by melting snow and thawing ground conditions. During this season, crews ramp down and work primarily focuses on erosion and sediment control. They ramp up again in late-May for the summer and fall construction seasons.
20-km stretch of the project route in Section 3 where construction work has halted.