RDBN Director says pipeline timber should be utilized

Rob Newell, Area G Director for the Regional District, says he wants Coastal GasLink to log and deliver timber they clear and chip leftovers.

The Regional District wants Coastal GasLink to utilize the timber they clear.

Rob Newell, Regional District Director for Area G, says he wants them to set a standard by utilizing the maximal amount of timber cleared from the pipeline right of way.

“I want them to set a standard… that they log everything that’s usable and chip what’s left of it.

“They should have a minimal amount that they actually burn,” Newell said.

He adds that they should deliver timber to logging companies, rather then stockpile it like BC Hydro has done.

“That’s part of the social licence,” Newell said, adding that it would be a minor expense for them.

The proposed Coastal Gaslink pipeline is a 650-kilometre, natural gas pipeline planned to run from Dawson Creek to Kitimat. It runs 23 kilometres south of Houston and has a proposed work camp near Goosly Lake and Buck Falls.

Their target schedule is to finalize plans this year, make a final investment decision in early-2016 and if it goes forward start building work camps and clearing the pipeline route summer-2016. Construction is tentatively set for early-2017.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) is the governing body over development outside of municipalities or reserves.

The proposed Goosly Lake work camp is on a site zoned RR1 or Rural Resource, said Newell.

Jason Llewellyn, Director of Planning, says the RDBN “has the authority to regulate land use in the area.”

Newell adds that they “have control over all of the permitting.”

His main concerns about the camp are waste and road access.

Newell says he wants to see a contained, self-treating sewage system used at the camps – and possibly donated to a neighbourhood in the region after the pipeline is built.

He’d also like to see a specific plan to deal with garbage.

“Our landfills won’t handle an additional 1,500 people in the area… The Knockholt landfill is being used by Smithers and all the small towns around,” Newell said.

“There has to be a way to do it… and I would prefer minimal burning.”

But Newell says they have to wait to work out those details because Coastal GasLink contracts the work camps to other companies, which won’t be done until later this year.

Another concern for Newell is camp access, which Coastal GasLink says will happen through the Morice River Road and Parrott Trail Forest Service Road.

“They aren’t planning to come down Buck Flats Road… They will though,” Newell said.

“If you get 1,000 or 500 people in a camp, they’re not going to go across the Parrott and down the Morice… They’re going to come the shortest distance to Houston, which is Buck Flats.”