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B.C. agency fines Coastal GasLink $346K for environmental infractions

Latest fines bring total to $801,700
The Coastal GasLink projected has netted more than $800,000 in fines so far.

Coastal GasLink has been fined another $346,000 by the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) for two infractions of its environmental certificate.

That's on top of the $213,600 fine meted out in January and $242,100 in fines from 2022.

The 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline is being built by TC Energy (TSX,NYSE:TRP) as part of the LNG Canada project. 

Coastal GasLink has been repeatedly sanctioned for “non-compliance” with its environmental certificate. 

One of the penalties announced today relates to “deficiencies with erosion and sediment control” identified by enforcement officers in April and May, resulting in a $340,000 fine. 

Another $6,000 fine was meted out “for providing false and misleading information” related to maintenance inspection records in October 2022.

“These latest financial penalties reflect the EAO's continued escalation of enforcement due to repeated non-compliance with EAO requirements,” the EAO says in a press release.

“The new fines follow three previous penalties of $213,600 (January 2023), $170,100 (May 2022) and $72,500 (February 2022) for failing to adequately control erosion and sediment.”

As a result of its repeated infractions, CGL has earned itself extra diligence from the BC EAO.

“As a result of continued concerns, the EAO has prioritized the CGL project for compliance monitoring, with nearly 100 inspections by air and ground since the project started in 2019," the BC EAO states in its news release. "These inspections have led to the EAO issuing 59 warnings, 30 orders - including 13 stop-work orders - and more than $800,000 in fines.”

In July 2022, Coastal GasLink signed a compliance agreement with the provincial government, which required more proactive measures for the last 100 kilometres of pipeline construction where ground had yet to be broken.

In response to the latest fines, TC Energy noted in a news release that the most recent fines were the result of infractions incurred before it entered into the compliance agreement.

As for the fine for providing false and misleading information, TC Energy said in it was the result of “a reporting error.”

“The reporting error was due to an administrative contractor record discrepancy that was provided to the EAO between October 2022 and January 2023,” TC Energy says in its press release. “This was an unintentional and regrettable error, which we worked with the EAO to correct.”

TC Energy says the pipeline is now 94 per cent complete and “on track for mechanical completion at the end of this year.”

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