Pembina looks for public input on Plateau Pipeline with open house

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Right now, Pembina is fielding comments for their proposed Plateau Pipeline, a Northeastern BC pipeline expansion that would reach from a terminal in Taylor to the area just north of Wonowon, before they receive an environmental assessment.

“At this point in time, this project is in the pre-application stage of the environmental assessment,” said Project Assessment Manager Ricardo Toledo, of the EAO, saying the Section 11 Order has been issued – which outlines the terms of reference for the environmental assessment.

Last night was their open house, inviting the public to come learn about the project.

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This isn’t the first open house Pembina has hosted for this project; Pembina hosted one in June to reach out to First Nations, residents, and stakeholders. The EAO was not involved with that open house.

One landowner at the open house said she felt she needed to be informed about a project happening near her home.”For anyone who needs to know, you come here and you’re definitely going to get your answers on what’s going on,” she said.

With the answers given to her questions, she didn’t say whether she was for or against the project.

The project has already been adjusted following the comments they heard, and the corporation is planning on making more chances with consideration to the comments they heard.

“The big concerns we’ve heard to date are around routing,” said Brent MacIntyre, Project Manager. “We are in an area that has been developed. The landowners and residents are familiar with pipeline activity. What we have heard is that while they’re not objecting to the pipeline, they would just rather it was shifted slightly so that it didn’t impact their residence, or wasn’t in such close proximity.”

In response to those concerns, the pipeline was rerouted a first time, and he said the route now is representative of the feedback they have received.

Pembina Pipeline

The 160 kilometre-long, 12 inch diametre pipeline would carry natural gas liquids and condensate below ground.

When asked about seismic activity and other emergencies, MacIntyre said that 24/7 monitoring will take place to insure there are no leaks of NGL, and the company will be taking every precaution necessary to keep things safe.

The impact to wildlife this project would have is a big topic on the Environmental Assessment Office’s list, and Pembina insists that any impact will be temporary – the construction timeline of this project will be about a year, but the subsurface pipeline will not cause a big disturbance to animals in the long run.

“There’s been a study for over a year of the wildlife use in this whole corridor, and that will be integrated with our Environmental Assessment Application,” said MacIntyre. “The impact to wildlife will be a temporary impact.”

Construction is planned to take place from late summer 2016, to the summer or fall of 2017. 400 jobs are anticipated to be created around the peak of the project – building up next September and slowing down near March or April of 2017.

MacIntyre says the project will create quite a few jobs during the course of operations, and for workers to maintain and monitor the pipeline after completion.

He said that Pembina has discussed the project with the First Nations in the area, as part of their efforts to reach out to the public, residents, and stakeholders.

The First Nations we contacted did not respond within the time frame for this article to be published. The Saulteau First Nation have stated that they can’t publicly commit on this matter at this time.

Comments can be submitted to the EAO online, and by mail and fax (250-387-2208), as well. The comments submitted can also be viewed by the public online.

The deadline for comment submission is November 4th.

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