The Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) issued two administrative penalties totaling $346,000 to Coastal GasLink Pipeline Ltd. (CGL) on Tuesday, for non-compliance with the requirements of its environmental assessment certificate.
One penalty of $340,000 concerned deficiencies with erosion and sediment control measures identified by compliance and enforcement officers during four multi-day inspections along the pipeline construction route in April and May 2022.
An additional penalty of $6,000 was issued for providing false and misleading information in October of 2022 related to maintenance inspection records.
The new fines follow three previous penalties of $213,600 (January 2023), $170,100 (May 2022), and $72,500 (February 2022) for failing to adequately control erosion and sediment.
As a result of continued concerns, the EAO prioritized the CGL project for compliance monitoring, with nearly 100 inspections by air and ground since the project started in 2019.
These inspections have led to the EAO issuing 59 warnings, 30 orders – including 13 stop-work orders – and more than $800,000 in fines.
In response to the fines, Coastal Gas Link issued the following statement:
Today, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) announced two administrative penalties. The first relates to erosion and sediment control (ESC) events that occurred prior to the Compliance Agreement we signed in July 2022, while the second is for an unintentional reporting error.
The ESC concerns were identified during EAO inspections in April and May 2022 and we took immediate and decisive action to address them. Shortly after these inspections and associated non-compliances, we entered into the Compliance Agreement with B.C.’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
The reporting error was due to an administrative contractor record discrepancy that was provided to the EAO between October 2022 and January 2023. This was an unintentional and regrettable error, which we worked with the EAO to correct.
Coastal GasLink respects the role our regulators have in upholding the high regulatory standards we are committed to meeting. Those high standards matter to Indigenous and local communities, to the people of British Columbia, and they matter to us.
Coastal GasLink is now more than 94% complete and on track for mechanical completion at the end of this year. In 2023, we continue to make significant strides forward in how we manage ESC, including through this year’s challenging spring melt season. We continue to work closely with our regulators to improve and adapt our environmental protection measures as we look ahead to the final clean up of our project route.
We remain steadfast in our commitment to achieving the highest standards of environmental protection during construction and into the operation of Canada’s first direct path for LNG export.