Coastal GasLink has been given a second penalty for environmental infractions along the 670-kilometre pipeline route. The route is currently under construction in northern B.C.
Inspections along the pipeline route resulted in a $170,100 fine. This is one year after issues with sediment control and erosion were first identified by provincial investigators through the Environmental Assessment Office.
The EAO assessed that the company’s violations had been causing significant adverse effects on water quality, fish habitat and water quality. It also identified potential adverse effects on fish and other aquatic life.
It said that they could also have harmed Indigenous nations’ rights.
While First Nation band councils along the pipeline route have reached agreements with the company. However, Wetsuweten’s hereditary leadership is still staunchly opposed the project. Recent conflict has been focused on the company’s plans to drill below the Morice River, also known by Wedzin Kwa.
The regulatory body discovered that Coastal GasLink failed to properly manage erosion and stabilize soil at 20 sites along the pipeline route. This allowed sediment to flow into fish-bearing streams, lakes, and wetlands. The Office of the Wetsuweten raised concerns about the potential impacts on fish and fish habitat. More than a decade.
A spokesperson for Coastal GasLink wrote to The Tyee to say that the company is committed in safe and environmentally responsible construction of pipelines and that it recognizes that protecting the environment is a fundamental value to all British Columbians, as well as our Indigenous and northern communities partners.
Coastal GasLinks stated that it took immediate action to address the issue and will continue to work with the EAO, and all other regulatory agencies to comply with their requirements.
The company was previously fined $72,500. FebruaryFor similar violations.
The EAO first raised the issues in October 2020. Place your orderThis required the company to control the flow of sediment into waterways and to employ an independent erosion and sediment-control auditor. Based on this order, subsequent warnings were issued and penalties were imposed.
The Order directed CGL to limit the risk of sediment being carried to environmentally sensitive receptors by stabilizing the surface material, installing erosion and control measures, and ensuring that these measures would continue to work as intended.
Failure to comply with Enforcement Order EN2020-011 led to observed adverse effects on water quality, wetlands, fish habitat, and possible adverse effects on fish and other aquatic life.
The EAO recently reaffirmed that the first administrative penalty was imposed in February after project inspections were conducted in April and May 2013.
The company was also cited by the FDA last month for allowing sediment-laden waters to flow into creeks along its western end. Kitimat.
EAOs May 2nd determination states that the pipeline company failed to comply with its October environmental certificate and it has issued a new penalty for violating the original order. EAO said that it conducted an inspection of Project against the requirements of the EAC, and the Order, from Oct. 14 to Oct. 21 2021.
A spokesperson for the environment ministry stated that a draft notice regarding the penalty was not made public in order to ensure procedural fairness.
Coastal GasLink replied to the EAO later that same month. The company stated that it had addressed orders from October 2021 and corrected any issues where possible. It also indicated that it continues to invest significant resources to address ongoing ESC. [erosion and sediment control]Several issues throughout the Project.
The company referred to erosion and sediment-control as the number one compliance problem that it is currently addressing with its prime contractors.
The company replied to The Tyee by email, highlighting the complexity of its project, and stating that it is subject to some of the strictest regulatory requirements in the country. The company also stated that the project’s scale, terrain and changing weather conditions have presented challenges.
The company stated that sediment control and erosion is an ever-changing challenge. We are adapting along the way. We are actively evaluating locations along this project that require attention and working to ensure that erosion control is done appropriately.
The provincial government has now acknowledged the violations for first time since Coastal GasLinks’ environmental infractions were discovered a year and a quarter ago. Press releaseOn the recent fines: It is important to note that more 40 inspections have been conducted along the route ever since the construction of the pipeline in 2019. There have been 37 warnings, 16 orders, and the two current penalties.
According to the EAO, compliance with environmental assessment certificates’ conditions is a matter of great importance.
The NDP government of B.C. has backed the Coastal GasLink project. Recent news releases noted that the pipeline and associated LNG Canada project will create jobs. Up to 10,000 construction jobsDuring construction and during Coastal GasLink Are all permits available for the work currently underway.
Two financial penalties were issued to Coastal GasLink this fiscal year, which is the first time that any company or organization has received a provincial environmental assessment certificate. A spokesperson for B.C.’s Environment Ministry stated in an email to The Tyee that the punishments were first-ever for any organization or company.
The 2018 Environmental Assessment Act granted the EAO new powers and tools to conduct compliance and enforcement activities. This will ensure that all legally binding requirements for a certificate are met throughout the project’s life, the ministry stated. It stated that ongoing monitoring ensures that projects are designed, constructed, operated, and decommissioned in accordance with provincial requirements.
The EAO identified potential adverse consequences of the contraventions and stated that they had led to adverse environmental effects as well as adverse effects on rights and interests of Indigenous countries.
It was also noted that the EAO’s conclusions mirror concerns raised in Indigenous countries regarding adverse effects on fish habitat, water Quality, and Wetland Function as a result.
It concluded that the Enforcement Order EN2020-011 had not been met and has caused adverse effects on water quality, wetlands, fish habitat and fish, as well as potential adverse effects on fish and other aquatic life. These impacts are not fully understood as they occurred over a large geographic area and over a long period of time without quantitative measurements.
The provincial used a base penalty amounting to $72,500, plus $22,000 for Coastal GasLinks compliance histories and repeated offenses. They also applied a daily multiplier factor of $75,600 which applied a fee each day different sites remained in compliance.
The Ministry of Environment confirmed that the fine was in addition to the February penalty that the company had already paid.
Coastal GasLink has 30 day to pay the latest fine.