Coastal GasLink fined $346K for erosion, sediment control issues and providing false information

Coastal GasLink (CGL) has been fined $346,000 in total for erosion and sediment control issues in the construction of the natural gas pipeline and for providing false information in inspection records.

Coastal GasLink is a 670-kilometre pipeline spanning northern B.C. that will carry natural gas across the province to the LNG Canada processing and export facility in Kitimat, about 206 kilometres east of Prince Rupert on the province’s northwest coast.

In a press release issued Thursday, B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) said these fines follow “repeated non-compliance” with environmental requirements by Coastal GasLink, which is owned by Calgary-based TC Energy Corp.

One fine of $340,000 was issued for “deficiencies with erosion and sediment control measures” that were determined during an inspection in April and May of 2022. 

Those inspections took place before Coastal GasLink signed a compliance agreement, requiring the company to ensure erosion and sediment control measures are incorporated into its construction plans.

It follows three previous penalties totalling over $450,000 for the same violation over the last year and a half. 

In a Thursday statement, Coastal GasLink wrote they took “immediate and decisive action” to address the sediment and erosion control concerns at the time.

The second fine of $6,000 was issued for “providing false and misleading information” in relation to maintenance inspection records in October 2022. 

Coastal GasLink said that was an unintentional error due to an “administrative contractor record discrepancy.” 

“This was an unintentional and regrettable error, which we worked with the EAO to correct,” reads the statement from the company. 

Since the construction of the pipeline through northern B.C. began in 2019, the EAO says it has issued more than $800,000 in fines, 59 warnings, and 30 orders, which includes 13 stop-work orders

“Recent inspections show CGL has been improving its management of erosion and sediment control under EAO oversight, thought the wet weather in spring 2023 resulted in significant issues,” wrote the EAO in its Thursday press release. 

Coastal GasLink said the project is currently more than 94 per cent complete, and on track to be completed by the end of this year. 

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