The British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office has permitted Enbridge to modify its proposed Westcoast Connector natural gas pipeline.
According to a news report the change involves removing 138 kilometers of the pipeline route that runs through Blueberry River First Nation territory. This adjustment comes after the First Nation won a treaty infringement case in 2021, highlighting the cumulative impacts of industry on their treaty rights.
Enbridge believes the section through Blueberry River First Nation is not essential to the Westcoast Connector project, which aims to connect Chetwynd to Prince Rupert, stating that eliminating this segment will reduce potential cumulative effects on Treaty 8 Territory.
“WCGT Ltd. found that removing the first 138 km of pipeline from the project as certified will reduce potential cumulative effects on Treaty 8 Territory, including those within BRFN Territory,” Enbridge said in its submission to the EAO asking for an amendment to its environmental certificate.
Enbridge acquired the Westcoast Connector project in 2017 and faces a deadline of November 25, 2024, to commence substantial work as stated in the environmental certificate. Earlier this year, Enbridge withdrew its application for an extension and instead applied for a certificate amendment, suggesting that work on the project may begin soon.
Ksi Lisims, considering two approved pipelines for transporting natural gas to Prince Rupert, also evaluates TC Energy’s Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project.