FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project is taking another step forward.
Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman issued an environmental assessment certificate to FortisBC Energy Inc.
The decision was finalized after reviewing information from the British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office.
There will be 30 conditions that FortisBC Energy Inc. must follow.
The certificate conditions were made up by numerous groups and people: Aboriginal groups, government agencies, local governments, communities and the public.
The key conditions for FortisBC Energy Inc. are as follows:
- develop a Grizzly Bear Mitigation and Monitoring Plan to avoid or reduce impacts to grizzly bears from the project;
- enter into an agreement with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations prior to the start of construction to contribute $250,000 towards the monitoring and study of grizzly bear populations;
- develop an Indian River Watershed Mitigation and Management Plan to minimize potential effects from the project on Tsleil-Waututh’s interests;
- continue to consult and engage with Aboriginal groups to provide opportunities for involvement in monitoring activities, share information, identify and protect heritage resources, and discuss the effectiveness of measures to avoid or reduce effects from the project;
- hire an environmental monitor prior to construction to help FortisBC Energy Inc. to identify and avoid or reduce adverse effects from the project on environmental, health, economic, social and heritage values;
- use an underground trenchless construction method to avoid or reduce impacts of any construction on the Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area;
- consult with Aboriginal groups and government agencies to develop a plan to manage and monitor effects from the project on community services and infrastructure; and
- continue to communicate with the public about the project, including information sharing and providing opportunities to discuss mitigation measures, the development and implementation of plans, and compliance with environmental assessment certificate conditions.
The project still has many hurdles to cross, as there are federal, provincial, local permits to receive.