Summer field work across Northern B.C. is underway as part of Enbridge Northern Gateway Project’s (ENGP) application to build a pipeline connecting Northern Alberta’s oil industry to proposed shipping facilities in Kitimat, B.C.
Michele Perret, senior manager, community and aboriginal relations for ENGP, presented an update to the board of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN) on July 18, 2013.
The conclusion of the federal Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel (JRP) does not mean that preliminary geotechnical and environmental work will come to a halt until the JRP announces its decision early in 2014.
The field work is required to satisfy issues or concerns raised during the JRP, and to satisfy the kind of detailed planning that will be required should the National Energy Board eventually award project approval.
The work, as Perret explained to the RDBN board of directors, is not meant to preempt the conclusions of the JRP.
“The purpose of the fieldwork activities is to provide Northern Gateway with valuable information in respect of safety, environmental engineering, and potential cultural aspects as part of our commitments during the regulatory review process,” Perret said in an email. “This is not construction work as we do not have approval for the project from the JRP and the federal government.”
The ‘phase-three’ geotechnical field work will happen over the course of this summer in approximately 35 B.C. locations, including two in the Burns Lake Area.
Maps provided by Enbridge indicate that preliminary field work will be carried out at several locations within the RDBN.
The Stuart River crossing, just south of Fort St. James; in Burns Lake at the proposed pump station near Boer Mountain, and at the narrows between Decker Lake and Burns Lake, where the proposed pipeline is to make an underground crossing; at the Buck Creek and Owen Creek crossings south of Houston; and at several locations near the Morice Lake and Morice River where RDBN western boundaries end.
Data will be collected that includes soil and bedrock composition, distribution, and groundwater patterns. Data collection techniques range from visual inspections to the use of helicopter assisted portable drilling units designed to take small core samples.
In total, approximately 190 drill holes, 80 test pits, and 26 kilometres of new trails will be required to survey the 35 potential sites. The work will mean approximately 5,000 person-days of work to complete the geotechnical work across the Northwest.
Lakes District News