Work camp west of Tchesinkut Lake

Work camp west of Tchesinkut Lake

How will TransCanada’s proposed camp impact Burns Lake?

Although camp locations might still change, TransCanada plans to build a worker camp at the west end of Tchesinkut Lake for its proposed Coastal GasLink Pipeline project.

The proposed camp would have peak occupancy of approximately 600 workers.

Although TransCanada will strive to make the camps self-contained – providing workers with meal service, recreational space such as a games room, exercise facilities and laundry facilities – some services will not be available at the camp. This means that workers may be travelling regularly to Burns Lake.

“We do know that camp occupants might travel into town during non-working hours to access services or facilities, and we’re working with people to try to find transportation options to make that effective,” said Howard Backrus, engineering manager at TransCanada, to the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako board last month.

Backrus said worker camps will be “self-powered” and will have housekeeping staff cleaning up the entire facility on a regular basis.

TransCanada is also looking at the possibility of hauling in water and installing a sewage treatment facility inside the camps. Solid waste will be hauled to local landfills.

“We don’t plan on incinerating any waste because we made a commitment not to do that,” said Backrus.

Camps will have emergency response plans and their own fire suppression equipment.

“So if anything happens, it will be dealt with locally,” said Backrus. “We won’t be relying on municipal services for that.”

“We will have medical facilities at the camp, including a nurse practitioner and various levels of paramedics depending on the camp occupancy,” he continued. “Camps will also have security services available 24/7.”

Each camp will have rules established in which workers are not allowed to carry firearms and illegal drugs, and there will be zero tolerance for harassment.

“We want to make sure that the camp environment feels comfortable living and working out of these camps,” said Backrus. “We have a code of conduct that we established that is behavioral based; all camp occupants need to comply with them.”

Other proposed camps will be located near Vanderhoof; just outside of Lejac; near the Huckleberry Mine road; and near the Shea Creek Forest Service Road.

According to Jacquelynn Benson, a spokesperson for TransCanada, the proposed locations are intended to reduce community disturbances such as traffic increases while also ensuring close proximity to the project.

Coastal GasLink proposes the construction of a natural gas pipeline from near Dawson Creek to near Kitimat, passing south of Burns Lake. The pipeline proponent has all the major permits it needs to start construction.

In July of 2016, LNG Canada announced that due to the challenges of the current global energy market, 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.

TransCanada expects that LNG Canada will make a final investment decision in 2018.