Eagle Mountain - Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project

About this project

As a utility, meeting the energy needs of our customers is what FortisBC does every day.

That’s why when our customer Woodfibre LNG asked us if we could deliver natural gas to them, we began to explore how and proposed the Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline (EGP) Project. And we also started talking with the community right away.

The proposed Eagle Mountain Gas Pipeline will expand a portion of our existing natural gas transmission system, which was built in 1990 to serve Squamish, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

It involves adding about 47 kilometres of new pipe, beginning north of the Coquitlam watershed and ending at the proposed Woodfibre industrial site. 

Quick facts

The proposed route

Eagle Mountain project rendering

 

Generally, the pipeline expansion will follow the existing gas pipeline route because it’s the most environmentally sound option and limits new disturbances to the environment.

In some cases, following the existing route entirely will not be possible. We will always try to minimize impact and respond to feedback.

    Examples include:

    • Achieving the shortest possible route and the smallest overall footprint
    • Accommodating pipeline watercourse crossings
    • Incorporating First Nations, landowner and stakeholder input
    • Avoiding known archaeological or heritage sites
    • Avoiding sensitive terrain and environmental areas

    The decision on the route isn’t final – we are continuing to engage with stakeholders, communities and First Nations to refine the route so that it works for as many groups as possible, while also being safe and efficient. 

    Watch a visualization of the proposed pipeline route.

    Mount Mulligan compressor station

    Compressor stations help us maintain the flow of gas through our system and to our customers’ homes and businesses. To provide service to Woodfibre LNG, we asked for feedback from the public and Squamish Nation during the environmental assessment processes, and as a result of the comments received, made significant changes to our project design to address safety and environmental concerns from First Nations communities. We’ll continue to listen and respond as we move forward.

    We have proposed to build new electric powered compressor units at our Eagle Mountain compressor station in Coquitlam. We’ve also proposed to build a new natural gas powered compression station outside Squamish, near the base of Mount Mulligan.

    The proposed Mount Mulligan compressor facility will help keep the gas moving through our existing system as it makes its way to our existing customers in Squamish, Whistler, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island.

    Have questions about the Mount Mulligan compressor station option? Watch our quick video to learn about our approach to safety, the environment and compressor station noise. 

    Rigorous environmental reviews and research

    For more than two years, we’ve been meeting with local residents, community groups, First Nations, stakeholders, local government and the regulators to gather and incorporate feedback into our environmental assessment application.

    On June 24, 2016, Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council voted to approve the project.

    On August 9, 2016, the provincial government issued an Environmental Assessment Certificate for the project.

    Our focus now will be to incorporate the conditions as we continue our detailed design of the project. We will also continue engaging with Aboriginal groups, local stakeholders and the community as we move forward with the next phase of planning and permitting.

    We’ve conducted hundreds of environmental studies in the Squamish area to ensure we’re proposing the safest, most environmentally responsible project plan. 

    Protecting the Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area

    The 673-hectare Skwelwil’em Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management Area (WMA) plays an important ecological role and serves as habitat for wildlife.

    Our existing system has been operating underneath the WMA since 1991 safely and without incident. To access the Woodfibre LNG site, a segment of the proposed expanded pipeline section needs to be installed underneath the WMA.

    We are committed to operating responsibly and mitigating potential environmental impacts.

    In response to input, FortisBC is proposing two potential options for this segment:

    Option #1

    We would install a pipeline about 50 to 70 metres below the surface of the WMA using a trenchless method called horizontal directional drilling, with the exit point as close to the Monmouth Ridge as possible.

    If this option is used, surface impacts in the WMA will be minimized as much as possible. There will be some short-term construction impacts at the exit point, within the WMA. A barge landing site will also be built in the WMA to allow for the transportation of materials and workers.

    route illustration

    Option #2

    FortisBC has also proposed an additional option, in response to public and First Nations input.

    • Build an underground tunnel about 30 metres below the surface of the WMA. The new sections of pipeline will be installed within the tunnel.
    • Continue the trenchless construction through the Monmouth Ridge Mountain. The exit point won’t be visible from Squamish.
    • This construction technique is similar to what was used to build the new Port Mann water main deep below the Fraser River.

    If Option #2 is used, temporary workspace, roads and barge landing sites in the estuary won’t be required. Some additional geotechnical testing will be required near the exit point. We will completely avoid surface disruptions in the WMA.

    Everyone who visits Squamish immediately appreciates the natural beauty of the area. FortisBC has taken this into consideration by planning safe methods of construction to minimize disruption to birds and wildlife. This project is about making our community stronger and sustainable – both environmentally and economically.

    Colin Geddes Tom Harris Cellular, Squamish

    FortisBC explains why trees were removed for safety during geotechnical investigations

    Viviana, our community relations manager, addresses some of the geotechnical work that took place during the fall of 2016, about halfway between the Woodfibre LNG site and the Squamish Estuary. She summarizes the steps we took in advance of the clearing work that took place, as well as the steps we took to mitigate our impact to that area.

    Read More

    FortisBC completes geotechnical work on the Squamish dike

    Spit Road re-opens to pedestrian and vehicle traffic now that FortisBC crews have completed geotechnical investigations along the Squamish dike.

    The subsurface data collected over the past several weeks will help us properly manage tunnel construction underneath the Skwelwilem Squamish Estuary Wildlife Management area for the Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre Pipeline Project. Work was suspended when crews encountered a pocket of naturally occurring gases, and notified safety and regulatory authorities.

    We appreciate the public's patience.

    Read More

    Woodfibre LNG authorized to continue with proposed LNG export facility

    Woodfibre LNG Limited announce that they have secured approval to move forward with their LNG export facility, to be located near Squamish, BC.

    This is a positive step for FortisBC's Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project. We will continue to work on design and permitting of the pipeline to serve Woodfibre's facility.

    FortisBC's proposed Eagle Mountain to Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project is a 47-kilometre expansion to our existing Vancouver Island natural gas transmission system to deliver gas to the Woodfibre LNG facility in Squamish. Earlier this year the Eagle Mountain Gas Pipeline project received environmental approval from the Squamish First Nation and an Environmental Assessment Certificate from the provincial government.

    We will continue our discussions with Aboriginal groups, stakeholders, and the public as the project moves forward.

    Read More

    Our response to incident at Squamish Community Office

    The safety of our employees and the public, and the security of our assets is FortisBC's number one priority.

    In the early hours of Thursday morning, November 3rd, a small fire was intentionally set at our Community Office in Squamish. Thankfully, there were no injuries as a result of this incident. We are supporting Squamish Fire Rescue and Squamish RCMP as they continue their investigation.

    Our Community Office has been a place of peaceful and constructive dialogue for more than two years. We know that this incident is not representative of the community of Squamish.

    We are grateful to Squamish Fire Rescue and Squamish RCMP or their quick response to this incident.

    Read More

    Provincial government issues Environmental Assessment Certificate

    The provincial government grants the Eagle Mountain-Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project with environmental assessment approval. Read the official release.

    Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council voted to approve an Environmental Assessment Agreement

    Squamish Nation Chiefs and Council vote to approve an Environmental Assessment Agreement for the proposed Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline Project and issue an Environmental Certificate to FortisBC. Read the news release.

    Read More

    Open house in Squamish

    FortisBC representatives host an open house in Squamish to support the Environmental Assessment Office public comment period.

    Public comment period on FortisBC addenda on final report to Environmental Assessment Office

    A public comment period for our addenda on our final report takes place from September 24 to October 15, 2015. Comments helped the BC Environmental Assessment Office ensure that all environmental, economic, social, heritage and health concerns related to our proposed addenda have been part of the assessment process.

    Read More

    Squamish Nation Council outlines a series of environmental conditions

    Squamish Nation Council outlines a series of environmental conditions as a result of its review, and we revise our plans to address their conditions.

    District of Squamish open house

    View the materials from the open house hosted by the District of Squamish.

    Open house in Coquitlam

    FortisBC representatives host an open house in Coquitlam to support the Environmental Assessment Office public comment period.

    Open house in Squamish

    FortisBC representatives host an open house in Squamish to support the Environmental Assessment Office public comment period.

    Open house in Gibsons

    FortisBC representatives host an open house in Gibsons to discuss the project and answer questions.

    Open house in Coquitlam

    FortisBC representatives host an initial open house in Coquitlam to discuss the project and answer questions.

    Open house in Squamish

    FortisBC representatives host an initial open house in Squamish to discuss the project and answer questions.

    Aboriginal engagement

    Aboriginal feedback helps to improve our Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline project

    We value working directly with local First Nations to listen to their concerns and understand their perspective. We’re engaging with the following First Nations to discuss the expansion project details and listen to their questions and concerns:

    Investing in our communities

    We believe in supporting organizations that help build safe and caring communities within our service areas.

    Squamish community office turns down the heat

    Elliot in Squamish community office

    In October, our Squamish community office participated in the fourth annual province-wide Turn Down the Heat Week campaign, sponsored by the Business Improvement Areas of BC, the Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association (BIA) and FortisBC. Read more.

    Community grants support local initiatives

    At FortisBC, we serve more than 135 communities across the province. Giving back to the communities where our 2,200 employees live and work is an important part of our efforts to create a sustainable future for British Columbians.

    We’ve been a part of the Squamish community for more than 25 years. And we take our role as a good corporate citizen very seriously. The local recipients of our community investment grants include a wide-range of organizations that are working hard to make Squamish and the Sea-to-Sky region a better place to live. Read more.

    Elliot presents cheque to Garibaldi Highlands Elementary

    Squamish Day Loggers Sports Festival

    Bryan Couture, president Squamish Day Loggers Sports Festival

    The Squamish Day Loggers Sports Festival celebrates the connection between Squamish and local industry. Bryan Couture is the president of the Squamish Loggers Sports Association, and we spoke with him about the importance of the event to the community and how industry growth can benefit Squamish. Read the interview.

    Phone Call Us (855) 380-5784 Email Email Us talkingenergy@fortisbc.com compass Visit Us 38134 Cleveland Avenue
    Squamish, BC V8B 0C4