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Canada's Trans Mountain Pipeline Faces New Delays

Canada’s energy regulator ordered Trans Mountain Corp to stop work on the Trans Mountain pipeline in a wetland area in British Columbia, according to a notice on Canada Energy Regulator’s website that cited non-compliance with environmental and safety regulations, adding to years of delays and piling on top of an already wealth of environmental opposition.

CER ordered the work stoppage, citing “damaged and down amphibian exclusion fencing….including dewatering hoses strung overtop and pulling fence into wetland,” vegetation clearing that was not approved, and damaged trees, according to the regulator’s website.

“Inspection Officers and Indigenous Monitors observed several non-compliances related to the environment and safety. Some of these non-compliances include insufficient fencing to protect amphibians and unapproved vegetation clearing,” the notice reads in part.

As a result of those non-compliances, CER has ordered Trans Mountain to “stop work in the Wetland area” until the issues are corrected. Trans Mountain must also correct all deficiencies, investigate the root cause of the environmental non-compliances, and identify the reason for the delay in correcting deficiencies already raised, and finally, to conduct a safety inspection and provide a report to CER. 

“Trans Mountain is working hard to correct all non-compliances and to prevent reoccurrence,” the company said in a statement.

The pipeline is more than 95% complete.

In mid-October, Trans Mountain Corp said the pipeline was more than 90% complete and that the project would be wrapped up within months. “I don’t have a specific date in front of me in terms of when the corporation expects to complete it, but the project is over 90% complete,” adding that it was expected to come online “over the course of the 2024 period.”

Those comments came shortly after the company secured a legal victory after being challenged in court by the Stk’emlupsemc Te Secwepemc Nation First Nation over the pipeline’s newly proposed route that would go through a 0.8-mile segment of the indigenous group’s territory.

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Once complete, the pipeline is expected to increase the amount of oil by another 890,000 bpd.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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