LNG pipe­line work be­gan be­fore arche­o­log­i­cal study was fin­ished

The Prince George Citizen - - News -

The com­pany be­hind a con­tro­ver­sial nat­u­ral gas pipe­line in north­ern Bri­tish Columbia says con­struc­tion be­gan in a num­ber of places be­fore ar­chae­o­log­i­cal as­sess­ments were com­plete.

Coastal GasLink says an in­ter­nal au­dit found there were two ar­eas along the right of way east of Kitimat where land was cleared be­fore ar­chae­o­log­i­cal im­pact as­sess­ments oc­curred.

It says the as­sess­ments are con­di­tions of the per­mits is­sued by the BC Oil and Gas Com­mis­sion and the B.C. gov­ern­ment’s En­vi­ron­men­tal As­sess­ment Cer­tifi­cate.

Coastal GasLink says it has sus­pended all clear­ing ac­tiv­ity in the area un­til an in­ter­nal re­view is com­plete and ac­tions are taken to pre­vent it from hap­pen­ing again.

It says it has also no­ti­fied af­fected Indige­nous com­mu­ni­ties and wel­comes their par­tic­i­pa­tion in post-im­pact as­sess­ments.

The Coastal GasLink pipe­line in­spired global protests when hered­i­tary chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en First Na­tion said it had no au­thor­ity with­out their con­sent.

The com­pany says it had signed agree­ments with all 20 elected First Na­tions along the 670-kilo­me­tre route to LNG Canada’s export ter­mi­nal on the coast in Kitimat, in­clud­ing the Wet’suwet’en coun­cil.

It says the land cleared in the af­fected ar­eas mea­sure 600-by-50-me­tres and 240-by10-me­tres re­spec­tively and as­sess­ments of neigh­bour­ing lands had iden­ti­fied them as hav­ing low like­li­hood of ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sig­nif­i­cance.

Coastal GasLink pres­i­dent David Pfeif­fer says he re­grets the er­rors that led to the con­struc­tion.

“I have di­rected the team to com­plete a thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tion of these in­ci­dents and have halted clear­ing work in the area un­til the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is com­plete and rec­om­men­da­tions are put into prac­tice,” Pfeif­fer said in a state­ment Thurs­day.

CP FILE PHOTO

A Coastal GasLink con­trac­tor drives over a bridge at the Unist’ot’en camp on a re­mote log­ging road near Hous­ton in Jan­uary.

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