OTTAWA (Agencies): Canada’s energy regulator has issued an order to halt work on the Trans Mountain pipeline within a wetland area in British Columbia. The notice, posted on the Canada Energy Regulator’s website, cited non-compliance with environmental and safety regulations. This latest development adds to the already substantial delays and the growing opposition from environmental groups.
The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) directed the work stoppage, pointing to various issues, including “damaged and down amphibian exclusion fencing,” the improper use of dewatering hoses, and the removal of vegetation that had not received approval. Additionally, damaged trees were noted.
The regulator reported: “Inspection Officers and Indigenous Monitors observed several non-compliances related to the environment and safety. Some of these non-compliances include insufficient fencing to protect amphibians and unapproved vegetation clearing.” In response to these non-compliances, CER has ordered Trans Mountain to suspend work in the wetland area until these issues are resolved. The company is also instructed to rectify all deficiencies, investigate the root causes of environmental non-compliance, identify reasons for the delays in addressing previously raised deficiencies, and conduct a safety inspection, providing a report to CER. Trans Mountain issued a statement, asserting that the company is diligently working to address these non-compliances and prevent their recurrence.
It’s worth noting that the Trans Mountain pipeline project was reported to be more than 95% complete earlier. In mid-October, Trans Mountain Corp had announced that the project was over 90% complete and anticipated completion in the coming months.
The specific completion date was not disclosed at the time, but it was expected to be operational over the course of 2024. These developments followed a legal victory for the company after it faced a legal challenge from the Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc Nation First Nation regarding the pipeline’s proposed route through a segment of the indigenous group’s territory.
Upon its completion, the Trans Mountain pipeline is projected to add another 890,000 barrels per day (bpd) to Canada’s oil transportation capacity.