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Coastal GasLink halts clearing activities on pipeline route

Coastal Gas Link has suspended some clearing activities on the natural gas pipeline it is building from Dawson Creek to Kitimat.

An internal audit of archaeological impact assessments across the 670-kilometre right-of-way, Coastal GasLink has discovered a number of instances where approved the assessments were not in place prior to start of construction, which is a condition of its permit issued by the BC Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) and our Environmental Assessment Certificate.

“Coastal GasLink is committed to protecting the environmental and cultural values of British Columbia during construction and operation of our natural gas pipeline,” said David Pfeiffer, President, Coastal GasLink Pipelines Ltd. in a statement posted to the company’s website. “Coastal GasLink regrets the errors that led to construction activities taking place without having approved archaeological impact assessments in place prior to start of construction.

“I have directed the team to complete a thorough investigation of these incidents and have halted clearing work in the area until the investigation is complete and recommendations are put into practice.

“I have also apologized to the impacted Indigenous communities and requested their participation in a proposed post-impact assessment.”

The audit determined that the assessments did not take place for two areas on the right-of-way in Section 8, near kilometre posts (KP) 585 and 631. 

At KP 585, an area of approximately 600 metres long by 50 metres wide was cleared without an approved assessment in place. Areas adjacent to this location did have an approved assessment and were identified as low likelihood of archaeological significance. While clearing activities have taken place, minimal ground disturbance has occurred since the area has been used for transit and corduroy mats had been placed to limit disturbance, according to the company statement.

At KP 631, due to a re-route, an area of approximately 240 metres by 10 metres was cleared without an assessment being completed. Areas adjacent to this location did have an approved assessment and were identified as low likelihood of archaeological significance.

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