TC Energy has been given the green light to begin preparing a work camp about 25 kilometres southwest of Houston that will house workers building the Coastal GasLink (CGL) pipeline.
The board of directors of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) on Oct. 24 approved TC’s application for a Temporary Use Permit (TUP) for the Huckleberry Multi-Use Site.
The permit covers a 42.94 hectare area beside the Morice Owen Forest Service Road, where TC plans to construct accommodation for workers, an equipment storage area and a contractor yard.
It is expected that at peak times 800 workers will live in the camp and the total life of the site is expected to last three to four years.
It was not yet known when clearing work would begin for the Huckleberry site, as TC spokesperson Suzanne Wilton told Lakes District News.
”Following the decision, we will take some time to review the schedule and determine next steps. We remain committed to continuing to work closely with our neighbours and surrounding communities as we progress with the construction of this critical infrastructure project,” she said.
The approval of the permit is a reversal of the RDBN’s denial of TC’s application during a board of directors meeting on Sept. 19.
At that meeting some directors and resident Bobby Seinen expressed concern over the rough conditions on Morice River Rd., the volume of traffic and TC’s communication with the public.
Representatives from Pacific Atlantic Pipeline Construction (PAPC) and TC said they understood the issues over safety and wanted to resolve any problems. PAPC will build Sections 6 and 7 the pipeline that will pass south of Burns Lake and Houston.
“Following the first consideration of the temporary use permit [on Sept. 19], Coastal GasLink, along with the regulators and other levels of government, worked and engaged with the board and various stakeholders to address the concerns raised, said Cheryl Anderson, Manager of Administrative Services with the RDBN.
Speaking to the meeting on Oct. 24, Kiel Giddens, Public Affairs Manager with TC said the company has been engaging with the road users committee of Morice River Rd.
“We’re working towards formal agreements on road upgrades currently. Any public questions or comments we’ve committed to bringing to that road users committee as well, so we’ll continue to do that,” he said.
Along with the application approval, the RDBN will forward to the Environmental Assessment Office and the Oil and Gas Commission a letter from Northern Health requesting specific health and medical measures be met at the worker camps.
The RDBN also approved a TUP application from TC for a site about 29 km northwest of Vanderhoof and just east of Highway 27.
The permit is for the Clear Creek Stockpile, a 16.70 ha site that TC wants to use for storing pipes, fuel and other materials for the pipeline, which will pass south of the site.
The TUP can last for up to three years and renewals are possible.
All of the camps and storage sites will service the eight sections of the pipeline project, which starts in the Groundbirch area just west of Dawson Creek and runs west to Kitimat.