Work is finally underway at the Coastal GasLink camp site in Vanderhoof, but the Agricultural Land Commission has not made it easy to construct the camp there.
Terry Cunha, spokesman for Coastal GasLink said initial snow and tree clearing is underway.
However, the commission has presented the pipeline company with several conditions that need to be met.
“There are a number of unique conditions for this site that require us to engage with soil experts during the development and reclamation of the site, minimize depth of soil disturbance, collect and compost the cleared-tree materials for use during reclamation.”
The current agreement between Coastal GasLink and the Agricultural Land Commission allows the pipeline company to conduct clearing for a camp site in Vanderhoof.
“We are continuing to work with the ALC on the remaining agreement for constructing the camp,” he said.
Meanwhile, workers will start moving into Vanderhoof by May 1 this year, and Cunha added that occupancy will ramp up to 1100 by mid-July.
The work-camp approval comes as the contentious pipeline continues to cause protests across the province, including outside the B.C. Legislature.
The dispute, between the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs and their supporters, has led to a number of arrests after RCMP enforced a court injunction against members who were blocking access to the pipeline company’s construction site south of Houston.
Last year, the commission rejected the application by the district of Vanderhoof and Coastal GasLink to use the site behind the municipal airport as a camp to build the pipeline.
Mayor Gerry Thiessen and the pipeline company disagreed with the Agricultural Land Commission’s assessment and re-applied for the same piece of land. This time round, the commission gave the district and Coastal GasLink the permission to use that property.
TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink project spans 670 km from Groundbirch, B.C. to the proposed LNG Canada export facility near Kitimat, B.C.