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    Coastal GasLink struggles with rapid snow melt


Rapidly melting snowpack is bringing excessive sediment and erosion control issues. [Image: Coastal GasLink]

by: Dale Lunan

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Coastal GasLink struggles with rapid snow melt

Coastal GasLink said May 16 it had stopped work on yet another section of the 670-km pipeline linking northeastern BC gas fields with the LNG Canada liquefaction terminal under construction on the coast, citing ongoing erosion and sediment control (ESC) issues brought on by rapidly melting snow.

The BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) has issued various stop work orders to CGL, but in many cases, work had already been halted to deal with the erosion issues, CGL said.

The latest trouble spot is at Cable Crane Hill, about 50 km east of the LNG Canada site near Kitimat. There, CGL built a cable gondola to move equipment and workers some 675 metres up the steep slope.

“To date, pipe installation in this area is nearly 92% complete, and the majority of work remaining involves backfilling completed pipeline segments,” CGL says in an update posted to its website. “Additional ESC measures are being implemented, and we anticipate completing construction on this section of the project in the fall of 2023.”

Elsewhere, work has stopped at Lamprey Creek in Section 7, where more than 200 sandbags have been flown in to protect the creek. Additional measures are being implemented to provide additional protection to the creek from sediment flow and erosion.

Also in Section 7, work was stopped ahead of an order from the EAO on a 10-km stretch of the right-of-way, where environmental experts are on site to address the affected area. 

And earlier in May, work was stopped on a 20-km portion of Section 3 near the Anzac River, north of Prince George, on orders from the EAO. Two weeks prior to that order, CGL had already halted the majority of construction in the area to focus on ESC measures.

Despite the work stoppages, CGL says it remains on track to complete the pipeline by the end of this year, and estimates the project so far is about 89% complete.