TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. has received approval to conduct borehole drilling beside three rivers in the Hazelton area from the BC Oil and Gas Commission.
The holes will be part of the approximately 900-kilometre Prince Rupert Gas Transmission line project, beginning in Hudson Hope, which has yet to receive an environmental assessment approval for its land-based portion.
The Skeena, Shegunia and Cranberry Rivers have received approval, while the same has yet to be announced for the Kispiox crossing.
“The boreholes would involve new access as described on the [company’s] maps,” Graeme Pole, concerned resident, said.
TransCanada is currently researching PRGT pipeline routes west of the Cranberry River, which will terminate at Lelu Island near Port Edward.
A federal environmental assessment may also be necessary due to two of the three potential westerly routes going into the ocean.
The geotechnical operations, which include borehole test drilling have already commenced near Hudson’s Hope, the most recent PRGT project update said.
“Borehole locations have been identified for major crossings to enable geotechnical investigations at potential horizontal directional drilling or aerial bridge sites,” the project update said. “Nineteen borehole locations were identified in 2013 for the geotechnical drilling program.
“Geotechnical drilling has been completed at Tildesley Creek and drilling has begun at Moberly River. The team is waiting for the remaining permits before drilling at the rest of the borehole locations. The geotechnical investigation will continue during the winter months.”
Calls to TransCanada and the BC OGC about the recent approval for borehole test drilling were not returned before press time.
* A previous version of this story read TransCanada would be drilling underneath rivers.