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Coastal GasLink receives second fine for erosion control violations

Several inspection by Environmental Assessment Office found non-compliance with EA certificate

Coastal GasLink (CGL) has been issued its second fine this year for erosion and sediment control issues.

In a press release issued May 9, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) said the $170,100 administrative penalty is an escalation of enforcement measures following a previous fine of $72,500 (in February), 16 orders and 37 warnings related to erosion control since the project began in 2019.

“Several inspections between October 2021 and April 2022 in various locations along the construction right-of-way found ongoing non-compliance related to erosion and sediment control,” the release stated.

In a separate email, the EAO told Black Press Media, the latest penalty was for non-compliance in Section 4 (generally west of Prince George to Vanderhoof) and Section 8 (generally from near Smithers to Kitimat).

In an emailed statement, Coastal GasLink said it is committed to conducting the project in an environmentally responsible manner.

“We respect the findings of the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) in its recent inspection report and enforcement order,” the email stated. “Along with our prime contractor, immediate action to implement changes was taken to remedy the EAO reports findings of non-compliance.”

The company’s EA certificate, which CGL received in 2014, requires an environmental management plan “to protect sensitive wetlands and waterways from sediment caused by erosion that can negatively impact water quality and fish habitat.”

READ MORE: Coastal GasLink replaces a pipeline contractor

CGL called erosion and sediment control a “constantly changing challenge” citing “the scale of the project, the dynamics of erosion and sediment control and the terrain the project crosses, as well as, temperature and ever-changing weather conditions,” as factors challenging the management plan.

“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,” the company said.

Recently, the company reported it had reached 100 per cent completion on two segments of its 670-kilometre route from the gas fields of northeast B.C. to the LNG Canada facility in Kitimat. The pipeline is fully installed in Section 1 west of Dawson Creek and Section 4 north of Prince George to around Vanderhoof, CGL said May 2.

Late in April, the company announced it had replaced one of its prime contractors on Section 7 of the route, which runs roughly from south of Houston to north of Morice Lake.

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Thom Barker

About the Author: Thom Barker

After graduating with a geology degree from Carleton University and taking a detour through the high tech business, Thom started his journalism career as a fact-checker for a magazine in Ottawa in 2002.
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