Coastal GasLink relocates route plan

Proposed new route would be closer to Colleymount Road

TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink Pipeline Limited is hoping to amend its proposed pipeline route near Burns Lake.

The proposed amendment involves relocation of a 42 km section of the pipeline southeast of Houston and north of Colleymount Road to a location approximately four kilometres to the south.

According to Coastal GasLink spokesperson Jacquelynn Benson, the proposed alternate route is a potential solution to the feedback received from Aboriginal groups in the area.

In late 2014, Coastal GasLink initiated a program to provide local Aboriginal groups with the opportunity to participate in field study activities, information sharing and inter-generational transfer of traditional and cultural knowledge along sections of the pipeline corridor.

“After extensive consultation with approximately 80 Aboriginal people from various groups, Coastal GasLink initiated additional studies and engineering work to create an alternate option that would help minimize effects on traditional and cultural land,” explained Benson.

“We are very proud of the work being done in collaboration with local communities and Aboriginal groups on this important project,” she added.

The pipeline proponent anticipates filing an amendment for the alternate route with the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) by mid-November. The process is expected to take between four to six months.

Once the amendment application review process begins, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) will be given approximately three weeks to provide feedback to the EAO. Given the limited timeline, the RDBN board has decided to start identifying potential concerns before the application is made.

If any concerns are identified, Coastal GasLink will be asked to work with the RDBN to clarify and resolve any issues. The RDBN would then have an opportunity to comment on the manner in which Coastal GasLink has addressed the issues.

The Coastal GasLink Pipeline project involves the construction and operation of an approximately 650-km natural gas pipeline from near Dawson Creek to Kitimat, B.C. The pipeline proponent received its environmental assessment certificate in October 2014 and has all the major permits it needs to start construction.

Due to the challenges of the current global energy market, LNG Canada announced in July 2016 that their joint venture participants needed more time prior to making a final investment decision on their proposed export facility near Kitimat. As a result, construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline, which would supply gas to their project, has been delayed.

LNG Canada is expected to make a final investment decision in 2018.

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