Map shows the different sections of the 670-kilometre Coastal GasLink pipeline project. (TC Energy image)

Village of Burns Lake keeping a close eye on work camp

‘We need to be prepared to deal with any negative issues’

As City of Terrace officials say they are frustrated with the increased demands for civic and other services arising from LNG development in the region, Burns Lake Mayor Dolores Funk says the village will keep a close eye on the effects of having a work camp nearby.

The 7 Mile Road Lodge, a 21-hectare work camp just south of Burns Lake that will house up to 600 workers at peak occupancy, will see its first occupants before the end of January, said Suzanne Wilton, a TC Energy spokesperson.

READ MORE: Preparing for the new work camp

Funk said village staff will be closely monitoring the work camp and pipeline construction and will bring any concerns forward to council.

She added village council and staff are in direct contact with sub-contractors working for TC Energy, and that the village is part of a Lake Babine Nation-led committee formed to address potential social issues related to the camp.

“It is exciting to have so much activity in town; however, we do need to be prepared to deal with any negative issues as they surface,” Funk told Lakes District News. “Everyone is aware of the capacity issues of housing, restaurants and other services with the influx of people into the community for the pipeline project and by those relocating to the community for other work opportunities.”

TC Energy has identified several potential adverse effects related to pipeline construction such as increased demand on local emergency and government services as part of its socio-economic effects management plan — a requirement resulting from the provincial government’s environmental assessment and approval.

The document lists mitigation actions such as communication with local emergency service providers and RCMP detachments starting three months before construction.

It also states that “there are no situations where there is a permanent or long-term potential residual effect on community utilities and services that cannot be technically or economically mitigated.”

As approximately 390,000 tonnes of pipe will be needed for the 670-kilometre pipeline project, TC Energy says traffic management and safety plans are in place to minimize any impact to local roads and communities.

Pipe is being transported by vessel, rail and truck to storage sites, and the first segments of pipe arrived in the Kitimat and Chetwynd areas in early December, according to the company.

Meanwhile City of Terrace officials, who have been compiling a list of increased demands for city services, told residents in December an eight per cent jump in property taxes is necessary to cover additional firefighter and policing costs, which they say is related to the $40 billion Kitimat LNG project.

READ MORE: City of Terrace frustrated with LNG Canada

The Terrace Fire Department saw a 35 per cent increase in calls during the third quarter of 2019, a nine per cent increase in ambulance services, and a 33 per cent increase in urgent calls.

Terrace RCMP reported an 18 per cent increase in calls during the same period, with a 37 per cent increase in offences against people and property, drug offences, and motor vehicle offences.

—With files from Brittany Gervais

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