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$213K fine issued to Coastal GasLink pipeline for environmental breach near Kitimat

Environmental Assessment Office issued penalty for non-compliance with environmental regulations
Non-functional, unsecured sediment fence allows contaminated water to flow through. (Photo courtesy of EAO)

A fine of $213,600 has been issued to Coastal GasLink for non-compliance with environmental regulations.

The fine is related to an inspection from February 2o22 in which the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) found sediment-laden water from pipeline activities flowing directly into Hirsch Creek due to inadequate or failing erosion control measures contrary to the requirements of the company’s environmental certificate.

Failure to meet these requirements can result in damage to important ecosystems, wildlife habitats and lead to poor water quality.

The is the third financial penalty the company has received. The EOA has issued two other penalties for $72,500 in February 2022; and $170,100 in May 2022. The pipeline project has received more than 500 inspections with 37 warnings, and 17 orders.

The EAO and CGL signed an agreement in July 2022 to address ongoing non-compliance with requirements.

“These are not isolated incidents,” said Sonia Furstenau, leader of the BC Green Party caucus and MLA for Cowichan Valley.

“CGL has demonstrated a reckless, spiteful and dangerous attitude towards laws and regulations. They simply absorb the costs of relatively small fines and continue to destroy ecosystems.”

The party is urging the government to issue a stop-work order on the pipeline.

Coastal GasLink said they “respect the EAO’s role in upholding the high regulatory standards that we are committed to meeting. Those standards represent the exceptional measures in place to safely deliver B.C.’s natural gas to the world while protecting our environment. They are fundamental values for our Indigenous and local community partners, and values that are at our very core as well.”

The company also noted, however, that this fine dates back to problems that were brought to their attention almost a year ago, which they say they have already addressed.

“We took immediate and decisive action to address these issues, which ultimately led to the compliance agreement we signed with the provincial Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in July 2022,” the company stated.

The 670km pipeline will connect natural gas production facilities west of Dawson Creek to the LNG Canada natural gas export facility in Kitimat.

ALSO READ: RCMP, Coastal GasLink deny conspiring with private security firm to intimidate Wet’suwet’en protestors


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