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Project Update: FortisBC receives environmental assessment approval for the Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline Project

August 10, 2016

On August 9, 2016, the provincial government announced it had approved our proposed Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline (EGP) Project.

The Environmental Assessment (EA) certificate includes 30 conditions and several design parameters. In the reasons for their decision, Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman noted they were confident the EGP project will be constructed and operated such that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur.

The EGP project is 47-kilometre long pipeline expansion to our existing Vancouver Island natural gas transmission system to deliver natural gas to the Woodfibre LNG facility, which received an environmental assessment certificate on October 26, 2015. The pipeline system was built in 1990 to serve Squamish, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. It was last expanded in advance of the 2010 Winter Games to convert the Resort Municipality of Whistler to natural gas from piped propane.

“We’re pleased to receive the provincial environmental assessment approval,” said FortisBC Vice President Cynthia Des Brisay. “The decision is the result of more than two years of engineering and environmental studies to gather information, and countless hours of work by our project team and consultants to design a project that will minimize local impacts as much as possible.”

The provincial environmental assessment process was coordinated by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). It included the evaluation of various potential pipeline routes and compressor station locations. In response to feedback from the public and Aboriginal groups, we proposed a number of design changes to our original plan, including:

  • changing our crossing method to reduce planned surface disturbances in the Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area;
  • modifying our proposed corridor to avoid areas of importance to Tsleil-Waututh Nation;
  • moving the proposed Squamish compressor station to a location at the base of Mt. Mulligan; and
  • locating a temporary worker camp west of the Squamish River to reduce potential impacts on the District of Squamish from worker accommodations that would otherwise have been located in Squamish.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated in the environmental review process by attending open houses, submitting feedback online and coming to speak with us at our Squamish community office,” said Des Brisay. “Your feedback was important and helped us design the project to address local values.”

Our focus now will be to incorporate the conditions as we continue our detailed design of the project. We will also continue engaging with Aboriginal groups, local stakeholders and the community as we move forward with the next phase of planning and permitting.

For more information on the EGP Project or to ask us a question, visit TalkingEnergy.ca.

To review the full list conditions and design parameters outlined in the provincial EA certificate, visit the BC Environmental Assessment Office’s website.