Yarrow Ecovillage was recently the site of an “integrity dig” on the Trans Mountain pipeline. Trans Mountain discovered in 2010 that the pipe had become exposed by erosion in Stewart Creek on the Yarrow Ecovillage property. The company reported it to the National Energy Board in 2017 with an explanation that they had not reported it earlier because the rules at the time it was discovered didn’t require them to. They said that they do not intend to report any other “historic exposures”.
Yarrow Ecovillage had done significant habitat enhancement on Stewart Creek where it runs by their organic farms. Species known to be present in Stewart Creek include Rainbow Trout/Steelhead, Coastal Cutthroat Trout, Coho Salmon, Chum Salmon, Peamouth, Brassy Minnow, Redside Shiner, Northern Pikeminnow, Prickly Sculpin, Threespine Stickleback, Lamprey, Pumpkinseed, Brown Bullhead, and Green Frog.
Prior to Trans Mountain’s work the stream looks like this.
After Trans Mountain’s work the stream looks like this.
This is what Trans Mountain does on the private property of an Ecovillage of all places! Imagine the standard of work that can be expected on more remote streams among the 1,355 watercourses that the Trans Mountain Expansion Project plans to cross!
Not like this! We’ve already seen at streams in Abbotsford and Burnaby before this that the company does not seem to care whether people are watching. But Trans Mountain didn’t used to be a Crown corporation, and Crown corporation or not, British Columbians and Canadians don’t have to accept this from regulators like the BC Oil and Gas Commission and the National Energy Board.
The first step to change is acquiring data to record, report, and hold ‘responsible’ parties accountable. WaterWealth will be working with local people along the pipeline route with an interest in protecting their home waters. Streams the Expansion Project will cross need pre-construction surveys, construction monitoring, and post-construction surveys. We are seeking volunteers willing to get their feet wet, and donations to support the work.
Expert assistance is of course very welcome, but you don’t have to be an expert to report what you see with your own eyes and measure with your own hands. We can show you how to document the quality of existing habitat in and around streams, and will help with the few simple tools required.
The federal government has been unequivocal in saying they intend to push this pipeline through over any objections, and in a recent report the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said they want to see six oil pipelines completed by 2025. We’ll see. But in any case, whatever construction may actually occur cannot be allowed to just destroy habitat as a norm!
Donations to help with costs and tools like turbidity tubes are gratefully received here!
Canada does have environmental protections. Let’s make them meaningful!
Our Wealth is in Our Water, Let’s Protect It!