DP 385 & Site Alteration Permit 8 – Fortis BC Energy Inc.


New Development Permit and Site Alteration Permit Applications have been made by FortisBC Energy Inc. to conduct geotechnical and geophysical investigations in the Squamish River Estuary. This work is required to provide subsurface data to design a trenchless pipeline crossing the Squamish River and parts of the Squamish River Estuary as part of the Eagle Mountain – Woodfibre Gas Pipeline Project.

Development Permit 385 was approved by Council on May 12th, and executed / issued on May 28th.   Site Alteration Permit No. 8 was issued on May 29th.

Applicant Letter

On April 7, 2015 District of Squamish Council passed a vote to accept FortisBC’s new applications. The previous Development Permit (DP370) was not approved by Council on January 6, 2015. 

April 7, 2015 Council Report and Meeting Minutes here

FortisBC has received permission from provincial and federal regulators to undertake the proposed activities.

Proposed Works:

FortisBC is proposing to undertake a “STAGED GEOPHYSICAL-GEOTECHNICAL TESTING PROGRAM”, which is significantly reduced in scope from the previous application. Specifically, the proposal is to undertake geophysical investigations in the Squamish River Estuary and geotechnical investigations at Boreholes E-BH-4 and E-BH-6.

View the full resolution of the Site Plan

Geophysical testing involves surface measurement of sonic waves sent into the ground. This work would require minor trimming of vegetation in order to ensure safe passage of workers on foot. Some of this testing will take place within the WMA. The proposed phased testing procedure avoids development in the WMA, and in areas of the estuary not previously disturbed.

The geophysical surveys will consist of Ground Penetrating Radar, Electrical Resistivity Tomography or Multi-channel Analysis of Surface Waves, or a combination of these methods. All methods use portable equipment that is easily carried and used in the field. An approximate 1 m wide clearing is needed for the geophysical investigation. It is anticipated that the clearing will be limited to brush, tree branches and potentially small trees (< 10 cm).

The geotechnical program would involve drilling two test holes within the disturbed footprint of the dike, which would also stretch laterally in each direction at depths of 30m and 70m, along the proposed pipe routing.

Each borehole location will include a vertical bore of approximately 80 m below ground level and two lateral bores of 800 m. The lateral drill paths from E-BH-4 would extend southwest under the Squamish River in the direction of proposed KP 40. The lateral drill paths from E-BH-6 would extend northeast under a portion of the Squamish River Estuary in the direction of the proposed Sabre Compression Station Site. The lateral drills would occur at two depths, approximately 30 m and 70 m below ground level.

Geotechnical Works – Borehole 4 Profile

Geotechnical Works – Borehole 6 Profile

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