Minimizing environmental impacts
Environmental responsibility is about doing the right thing, not always the easiest thing. To help reduce our footprint and make informed decisions about the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline project, TransCanada works hard to identify and mitigate issues before they arise.
Minimizing our environmental impact means:
- Collecting information about the local environment for construction planning, and identifying appropriate measures to mitigate potentially adverse effects and sensitive environmental features.
- Conducting field studies, including assessments of heritage resources, vegetation, wetlands, soil, wildlife and aquatic habitats.
- Engaging with Aboriginal communities to collect Traditional Land Use information and Traditional Ecological Knowledge to learn about potential concerns and issues.
Using the information collected, protection plans and assessments are submitted for regulatory approval; in November 2014, the project received its Environmental Assessment Certificate, and in October 2015, its BC Oil and Gas Commission permits.
Prior to construction on a pipeline like PRGT, TransCanada secures permanent access rights to strips of land called rights-of-way. They are generally 10 to 25 metres wide, with an additional 10 to 20 metres used as a temporary workspace during construction.
Once PRGT is in operation, the permanent right-of-way will be maintained at a width of 10 to 25 metres, to keep the area above it clear of trees, branches and invasive plants or weeds. PRGT will be underground, except for some specific locations such as fenced valve sites or pump stations. We’ll conserve topsoil when digging on agricultural land, so it can be reclaimed afterwards. While we maintain right-of-way easement for the life of the project, we work with landowners to address any concerns caused by pipeline activities.
Did you know? TransCanada’s environmental practices have been internationally recognized for:
- Being one of the first companies to apply directional drilling versus open cut for larger river crossings.
- Pioneering the use of innovative winter construction techniques through short grass prairie ecosystems to ensure minimal impacts.
- Investing significantly in the preservation and enhancement of endangered species habitats.
- Adopting and developing new technology to make our pipelines more energy efficient and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Applying mobile compressors to reduce methane emissions.
Pipelines are the safest method to transport natural gas across long distances. Electronic in-line inspection devices, known as “smart PIGs”, are periodically used on sections of the pipeline system to detect potential defects.