Rapid spring melt has prompted TC Energy to pause work on two sections of the 670-kilometre natural gas pipeline.

On Tuesday, the company announced that it had paused work on a 20-km section near the Anzac River north of Prince George roughly two weeks ago. On Thursday, the company it announced it had stopped construction on a roughly 10-km section of the pipeline south of Houston.

“Environmental experts are currently on site working with our Prime contractor to address the affected area, which has been subject to unprecedented rapid spring melt conditions. Higher than normal temperatures and snowpack conditions continue to present challenges across the province, including key areas of Coastal GasLink’s project route,” a statement issued on Thursday said. “Construction on certain critical areas will continue where conditions permit, with ramp up back to full construction expected in early summer.”

Thursday’s stoppage happened in concurrence with a stop work order from the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), while the stoppage near Prince George was done ahead of a stop work order being issued this week.

“Our construction execution plans incorporate a period of reduced work every spring, with the focus of work shifting to erosion and sediment control. In addition to on-going ESC work, primary activities in this section include excavating, installing pipe, and backfilling,” the TC Energy statement said. “We currently have over 700 workers dedicated to monitoring conditions and implementing erosion and sediment control (ESC) measures as required across the project, including 23 Certified Professionals in Erosion and Sediment Control whose roles are to ensure we are ready to respond and adapt should additional situations require it.”

Construction of the pipeline was 89 per cent complete as of the Thursday update, and expected to be finished by the end of this year.

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