FortisBC’s Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline Project receives environmental approval

On August 9, 2016, the provincial government announced it had approved the proposed Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline (EGP) Project.

The Environmental Assessment (EA) certificate includes 30 conditions and several design parameters. In the reasons for their decision, Environment Minister Mary Polak and Natural Gas Development Minister Rich Coleman noted they were confident the EGP project will be constructed and operated such that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur.

The EGP project is 47-kilometre long pipeline expansion to FortisBC’s existing Vancouver Island natural gas transmission system to deliver natural gas to the Woodfibre LNG facility, which received an environmental assessment certificate on October 26, 2015. The pipeline system was built in 1990 to serve Squamish, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island. It was last expanded in advance of the 2010 Winter Games to convert the Resort Municipality of Whistler to natural gas from piped propane.

“We’re pleased to receive the provincial environmental assessment approval,” said FortisBC Vice President Cynthia Des Brisay. “The decision is the result of more than two years of engineering and environmental studies to gather information, and countless hours of work by our project team and consultants to design a project that will minimize local impacts as much as possible.”

The provincial environmental assessment process was coordinated by the BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO). It included the evaluation of various potential pipeline routes and compressor station locations. In response to feedback from the public and Aboriginal groups, FortisBC proposed a number of design changes to our original plan, including:

  • changing the crossing method to reduce planned surface disturbances in the Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area;
  • modifying the proposed corridor to avoid areas of importance to Tsleil-Waututh Nation;
  • moving the proposed Squamish compressor station to a location at the base of Mt. Mulligan; and
  • locating a temporary worker camp west of the Squamish River to reduce potential impacts on the District of Squamish from worker accommodations that would otherwise have been located in Squamish.

“I would like to thank everyone who participated in the environmental review process by attending open houses, submitting feedback online and coming to speak with us at our Squamish community office,” said Des Brisay. “Your feedback was important and helped us design the project to address local values.”

For more information on the EGP Project, visit TalkingEnergy.ca.

To review the full list conditions and design parameters outlined in the provincial EA certificate, visit the BC Environmental Assessment Office’s website.