B.C. Said Coastal Gaslink Pipeline Could Withstand ‘Extreme Weather. Nope.

"An internal briefing note reveals BC Energy Regulator inspectors did not find any problems with Coastal GasLink’s emergency plans a few months before soaring temperatures led to flooded pipeline sites, slope failures and damage to sensitive creeks and wetlands".

"Provincial officials told cabinet ministers in Premier David Eby’s government that the builders of the Coastal GasLink pipeline had “appropriate” emergency plans, two months before melting snow overwhelmed construction sites along the project’s route last May, according to an internal briefing document obtained by The Narwhal.

The assurances were sent in a briefing note to Environment Minister George Heyman and Energy Minister Josie Obsorne, dated March 3, 2023, and released through freedom of information legislation. They were based on field inspections in January and February 2023 and a review of the company’s water quality monitoring data and photos by the BC Energy Regulator, the lead provincial agency responsible for protecting stream crossings from construction activity.

“[Coastal GasLink] is following the regulatory requirements and following their site-specific crossing plan; appropriate self-reporting has occurred and contingency plans have been employed to address extreme weather conditions as appropriate to mitigate potential adverse impacts to the environment,” the briefing note said.

Two months later, soaring temperatures triggered environmental damage to waterways and a wetland near the overwhelmed Coastal GasLink construction sites, as snow melt swept sediment into the nearby ecosystems."

Matt Simmons reports for The Narwhal December 14, 2023.

Source: The Narwhal, 12/18/2023