Enbridge addresses landslide concerns along the route

Enbridge is doing extensive geotechnical work to avoid the risk of landslides along the proposed route of the Northern Gateway pipelines

~By Andrew Hudson

Enbridge is doing extensive geotechnical work to avoid the risk of landslides along the proposed route of the Northern Gateway pipelines, says director of engineering Raymond Doering.

“We understand, totally, the features in the area that have resulted in slides that might have affected other pipelines or highways or railways,” he said.

“What we’ve done is work to identify a route that avoids those hazards.”

Doering said the proposed route runs south of existing pipelines, such as the Pacific Natural Gas pipeline that crosses the Telkwa Pass. Other new pipeline proposals, like the Pacific Trails Pipeline, are following that lead.

Over the last 30 years, landslides cut the more northern PNG pipeline three times.

But geotechnical knowledge has come a long way since then, Doering said.

For example, he said, surveyors now realize why it’s important to know that some 10,000 years ago, the Kitimat Valley was the bottom of the ocean. That land rebounded as Ice Age glaciers melted away, leaving pockets of glacial marine clay that is unstable.

“That’s a very well understood condition now,” Doering said.

“But it wasn’t well understood when the original PNG pipeline was routed down to Kitimat over 40 years ago.”

Enbridge is doing ongoing fieldwork—digging bore holes, doing remote-sensing flyovers and aerial photography—to assess such risks, he said. Enbridge began its geotechnical surveys in 2005. Last year, the company submitted a long report detailing its geotechnical surveys for the Joint Review Panel that is assessing the project.

“We don’t just look on the corridor,” Doering explained. “We look as far to either side of the corridor as necessarily, and sometimes it’s many kilometres.”

Wherever possible, Doering said the proposed route avoids geohazards. Where hazards are unavoidable, his team will engineer ways to mitigate risk.

Enbridge plans to dig two tunnels, one 6.5 km and one 6.6 km long, to route its twin pipelines under the Coast Mountains.

“It’s a huge investment in the safety of the workers and for the long-term operation in the pipeline,” he said.

Just Posted

Intertidal Music Festival wrap up

Video and photos from the full-day festival held at the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward, B.C.

North West softball team wins gold at BC Summer Games

Two Prince Rupert players were on the Zone 7 boys U-16 team that went 5-0 in the tournament

Longtime vice-principal Kevin Leach resigns from Charles Hays Secondary

Aja Lihou takes on new role as vice-principal at the high school in Prince Rupert

Big wrestling from a small town

Aaron Roubicek wants to put Prince Rupert on the map at the BC Summer Games

WEB POLL: Are you guilty of foodwaste at home?

B.C. food retailers are trying to change people’s behaviour to reduce food waste

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Newspaper carriers wanted!

Contact The Northern View today to find out how you can become a part of our team

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

ZONE 8: Williams Lake’s Gabby Knox is a 2nd-generation BC Games competitor

Both parents competed in softball, but Knox is making waves in the pool

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Most Read