With forecasted record-breaking high temperatures, and higher than average snowpack conditions across northern B.C., Coastal GasLink is taking proactive measures to protect the integrity of its work sites and prevent impacts from erosion and sediment that comes with rapid spring melt.
We currently have over 700 workers dedicated to monitoring conditions and implementing erosion and sediment control (ESC) measures as required across the project, including 23 Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control whose roles are to ensure we are ready to respond and adapt should additional situations require it.
Key measures Coastal GasLink is implementing to protect the environment include:
Coastal GasLink is committed to adjusting work plans and implementing additional ESC mitigation measures based on professional recommendations to protect the environment. For example, Coastal GasLink recently proactively paused work in key areas of Section 3 due to rapid spring melt conditions and has continued to evaluate and shift resources to support enhanced ESC measures as needed across the project footprint.
Construction is progressing along critical sections of the 670-km project route, where it is safe to do so. We continue to be on track to complete construction by the end of 2023, and are now nearing 89% complete on the project.
Thanks to the hard work of our teams focused on enhanced erosion and sediment control (ESC), we are pleased to report the BC Environmental Assessment Office has lifted all Stop Work Orders.
Coastal GasLink has been focused on implementing enhanced ESC measures in areas along the project route that have been challenged by high spring temperatures and rapid snow melt. These enhanced measures are designed to ensure the protection of the environment and important watercourses during this time.
In addition to the implementation of ESC measures, work continues along the 670-kilometre route as progress continues toward overall project completion by the end of 2023.
On May 29, 2023 Coastal GasLink was notified by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) of the requirement to implement additional erosion and sediment control measures in areas that continue to be challenged by quickly changing environmental conditions.
The following segments along the 670km project route are the focus of the enhanced measures:
Our teams are working closely with the regulator to ensure that enhanced mitigations are put in place in these areas, and across the project route, where required. Our focus remains on protecting the environment and important watercourses during these challenging times
Coastal GasLink has paused non-ESC related work in six areas as directed by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) on May 19, 2023. While these orders call for active construction to cease, there is limited construction work taking place at this time as the majority of construction is either complete or focused on Erosion and Sediment Control (ESC) measures in these areas.
The areas covered by this order are as follows:
As record-breaking temperatures continue to melt the high snowpack across the province, our workforce remains focused on the implementation of ESC measures in these areas and across the project as required.
Coastal GasLink has paused active construction on a portion of Cable Crane Hill, in Section 8. Our workforce is focused on enhancing erosion and sediment control (ESC) measures in this area as rapid snow melt continues due to record-breaking high temperatures for this time of year.
Cable Crane Hill runs through the Coast Mountains and is one of the most geographically challenging components of the project. In order to minimize impacts through this challenging terrain, Coastal GasLink built a gondola system to safely move equipment and people more than 675 metres up the steep slope.
To date, pipe installation in this area is nearly 92% complete, and the majority of work remaining involves backfilling completed pipeline segments. Additional ESC measures are being implemented, and we anticipate completing construction on this section of the project in the fall of 2023.
Coastal GasLink is committed to working together with the BCER and other regulators to implement their recommendations and enhance ESC measures in this area, and as required in key locations across the project route.
We continue to be on track to complete construction by the end of 2023, and are now nearing 89% complete on the project.
Pipe installation in the Lamprey Creek area of Section 7 was completed in February this year and no construction work is occurring in the area during the spring melt season. At this time, our crews are focused on erosion and sediment control measures on site.
In anticipation of the unstable conditions observed at a slope near Lamprey Creek, more than 200 sandbags were flown to the site to protect the creek. Additional mitigation methods are being brought to the site to provide further protection against sediment flow and erosion.
On top of the erosion and sediment control professionals who are monitoring and implementing ESC measures, aquatics specialists and other professionals are monitoring water quality in Lamprey Creek and actively managing any turbidity in the creek. Reclamation activities planned for this spring and summer will ensure long-lasting slope stability for the future.
Coastal GasLink has stopped construction work on an approximately 10-km stretch of the project route in Section 7, south of Houston, B.C. to implement erosion and sediment control measures to respond to rapid spring melt due to rising temperatures and high snowpack. This action is in concurrence with a stop work order from the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO).
Environmental experts are currently on site working with our Prime contractor to address the affected area, which has been subject to unprecedented rapid spring melt conditions. Higher than normal temperatures and snowpack conditions continue to present challenges across the province, including key areas of Coastal GasLink’s project route.
We are working closely with regulators to return to work in this section as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to adjust our work plans and ESC measures as weather and ground conditions evolve through the spring melt.
Our construction execution plans incorporate a period of reduced work every spring, with the focus of work shifting to erosion and sediment control. In addition to on-going ESC work, primary activities in this section include excavating, installing pipe, and backfilling. Construction on certain critical areas will continue where conditions permit, with ramp up back to full construction expected in early summer.
Coastal GasLink spans complex terrain and many steep slopes. As snowpack melts and river levels rise, our environment teams are focused on implementing measures called Erosion and Sediment Control, which manages the water flowing through a worksite.
These ESC measures ensure that water is properly controlled and any sediment picked up by the running water does not flow into streams, rivers and other sensitive areas.
Diversion berms and channels and seeding are common forms of ESC measures that are frequently used across the project route to support management of erosion and sediment transport.
ESC challenges are not unique to pipeline construction. In fact, there are Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESCs) and these experts support many different industries that require management of erosion and sedimentation, including land development, highway construction, powerlines, and forestry.
Coastal GasLink has hired over 23 Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC), representing approximately 13% of all total CPESCs available in Canada. The CPESCs working on the project help ensure we are employing the best practices to mitigate erosion and settlement challenges through the construction process.
Coastal GasLink’s 670-km project route traverses through some of B.C.’s most difficult mountainous terrain, which includes high elevation and steep slopes into the work sites. Our crews often experience unpredictable and exceptional weather conditions. Management of ESC on Coastal GasLink remains a priority, as we encounter challenges with erosion and sediment control due to large water volumes.
Coastal GasLink is a complex project and is subject to some of the most stringent regulatory requirements in the world. We adapt along the way and are actively evaluating locations along the project that require attention and are working to ensure that erosion and sediment control are managed appropriately.
ESC measures are in place across the entire project route. Various monitoring and maintenance programs are actively in place with qualified environmental professionals, to proactively manage water on the right-of-way while protecting it from flowing into waterways. Every slope and every contour of the land is assessed, and mitigations are implemented where qualified professionals recommend. Weather conditions are continually changing requiring us to adapt to each unique situation.
Coastal GasLink’s Construction Monitoring and Community Liaison (CMCL) program currently supports 45 advisors representing all 20 Indigenous nations across our project route. The CMCL Advisor’s role is to observe, record and report back to their communities on construction activities and ensure all environmental protection and ESC mitigation measures are adhered to.
Coastal GasLink has taken significant steps to improve and prioritize proactive management of ESC across the project. This includes numerous certified ESC professionals dedicated across all pipeline construction sections, significant training of construction personnel to raise awareness and skills with respect to ESC. In addition, there is on-going monitoring and presence in the field to report on effectiveness.
Coastal GasLink has hired over 23 Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control (CPESC), representing approximately 13% of all total CPESCs available in Canada. Additionally, more than 700 personnel have been trained as Certified Erosion and Sediment Control Leads (CESCL) through the Erosion and Sediment Control Association of B.C.
In July 2022, Coastal GasLink entered into a Compliance Agreement with the Minister of Environment that requires CGL to follow proactive- and planned measures to control erosion and sedimentation for all areas where ground disturbance had not yet occurred along the CGL pipeline route.
The Compliance Agreement requires the creation of Work Execution Plans (WEPs) that include detailed proactive ESC planning and independent review and subsequent approval by the BC EAO. There are a total of 78 WEPs, and 65 of which have been approved by the BC EAO to date.
We are currently focused on addressing ESC measures at these locations and each area is unique. We will continue to monitor conditions and construction will resume in these areas in consultation with our regulators and when it is safe to do so.
Our execution schedule includes plans for work in many areas to be paused through spring break-up. Construction on certain critical areas will continue through spring break up, where is safe to do so. We will then plan to resume remaining work in the paused areas in early summer.
Yes, Coastal GasLink has paused construction in numerous locations across the project through break-up. We are progressing active construction work on less than 50 km of the 670 km route. Every spring the project goes through a period of reduced work during the spring melt, often referred to as “spring break-up”, so reduced construction through this period is part of the execution plan.
Every spring the project goes through a period of reduced work during the spring melt, often referred to as “spring break-up”. We continue to be on track to complete construction by the end of 2023, with approximately 89 per cent of the project complete.