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FortisBC’s Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre pipeline could start next year

Letter to District of Squamish says it could take about three years to complete
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A map from FortisBC shows the proposed tunnel route.

If all goes as expected, work on the FortisBC’s Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre pipeline could start in the second half of 2020 and take about three years to complete, according to correspondence from the company.

In a letter received by Squamish council, the utility said that field work for tunnel construction and subsequent pipeline installation is set to begin next year, should it get approval from the B.C. Oil and Gas Commission.

The tunnel is being built to house a nine-kilometre portion of the pipeline running west of Squamish.

“By building a tunnel we can address First Nations and public concerns regarding impacts to the sensitive Squamish River Estuary, as well as to avoid steep, difficult terrain in the area of Monmouth Ridge,” the letter, which was on the Sept. 30 council agenda, reads.

“The tunnel will allow the pipeline to be installed without causing any surface disturbance within the Skwe|wil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area and other environmental sensitivities along Monmouth Ridge.”

As for the tunnel’s location, it’s planned to start on the BC Rail property on Government Road and extend in a westerly and southerly direction for nine kilometres to the proposed Woodfibre LNG.

In the Sept. 20 letter, Gord Schoberg senior manager, municipal and community relations for FortisBC Energy Inc. writes that no trees are expected to be cleared as a result.

The first stage, which involves site preparation work, will take place from Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and last about nine months.

Once underground tunnel excavation begins, work may take place seven days a week, up to 24 hours a day.

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