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Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC Trans Mountain Expansion Project Browne Creek Wetland Timing Commitment and Construction Methodology Variance Request, CER Letter Decision No. 176

Link to Decision Summarized

Facilities – Construction Method

Application

Trans Mountain Pipeline ULC (“Trans Mountain”) requested a partial variance to its timing commitment concerning Browne Creek and the Browne Creek wetlands, between kilometre post (“KP”) 1100.240 and KP 1100.365 (the “Browne Creek Site”). Trans Mountain further requested permission to vary the associated construction methodology from an isolated open trench construction method to a trenchless horizontal direction drill (“HDD”) crossing method (collectively, the “Variance Request”).

Decision

The CER approved the application to change the construction method for Browne Creek and Browne Creek wetlands from an isolated open trench to a trenchless HDD construction methodology.

Trans Mountain had committed to several measures to mitigate its interference with and the environmental impact on Brown Creek and the Browne Creek Wetlands. To accommodate the variance of the construction method and the timing variance, the CER modified Trans Mountain’s commitment set out in its Letter Decision No. 142, dated June 10, 2022, by adding a new paragraph c) to the existing paragraphs a) and b), as follows:

(a)     proposed construction timing for Browne Creek and the Wetland will be inside the Least Risk Window (August 1 to September 15) and will avoid critical spawning/incubation periods for salmonids, including Salish Sucker (which has a spawning period of March 1 to July 1), and the breeding period for amphibians (February to late July);

(b)     despite paragraph a), Trans Mountain may conduct the Site-Preparation Activities commencing immediately upon issuance of this letter (10 June 2022); and

(c)      despite paragraph a), Trans Mountain may conduct its Trenchless Activities outside of the Least Risk Window and may commence immediately upon issuance of this letter (28 October 2022).

Applicable Legislation/Legal Authorities

CER Letter Decision No. 142: Trans Mountain Expansion Project Request for Partial Relief from Browne Creek and Browne Creek Wetland Timing Commitment

CER Letter Decision for MH-026-2020: Trans Mountain Expansion Project Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity (Certificate) OC-065 Detailed Route Hearing MH-026-2020 – City of Chilliwack Decision of the Commission of the Canada Energy Regulator

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