Construction camp proposal presented to MD council

·3 min read

With TC Energy’s proposed NGTL West Path Delivery pipeline in the final stages of regulatory approval, the company attended the May 11 MD of Pincher Creek council meeting to discuss tentative plans for a residence camp for construction workers.

“We wanted to get this conversation as transparent as possible as early as possible,” said Preston Seier, public affairs representative with TC Energy.

The proposed pipeline expansion would help meet natural gas demand in British Columbia and downstream North American markets.

The application for the project was submitted at the end of last year, with the company hoping to begin construction in central Alberta at the end of 2021.

Locally, sections of new pipeline would head south by Turner Valley and Longview before turning west once outside Lundbreck, with construction anticipated to start in 2023.

To house construction labourers working along the Longview and Lundbreck sections, TC Energy is proposing a camp at the intersection of highways 3 and 507 near the weighing station. The tentative arrangement would see the 94-acre camp set up on private land.

At its peak, 600 to 700 workers would be housed at the camp, though for the majority of the project occupancy would be about half that amount. Residences would consist of single-washroom dormitories and include a large kitchen diner and recreation fitness area.

Water and wastewater would be stored on site and hauled in and out; arrangements for electricity have not yet been determined.

The camp would be self-contained, with monitoring cameras, secured access and professional security personnel on-site. Drugs and alcohol would also be strictly prohibited.

Based on previous experiences with a TC Energy camp near Maycroft, Coun. Quentin Stevick had no qualms with the proposed camp.

“I was really impressed,” he said. “Every time I went by, looked in, I could see that everything was well done. Class-act job, and welcome back and we hope that you are as successful on this next project as you were on the previous one.”

Coun. Terry Yagos agreed.

“I know what Maycroft was like and I talked to the people up there and it worked out really well. Your rules are good, it wasn’t a hassle or an overflow of people coming out,” he said.

As long as TC Energy holds a public meeting with residents in the area, Coun. Yagos continued, potential problems, such as crowded recreation areas on workers’ days off, could be mitigated.

“There’s a lot of acreages and people in that area that like their privacy, they like their quietness, they like using the area,” he said.

Co-operating with the MD and its residents, replied Mr. Seier, was exactly what TC Energy wanted to do.

“We want to work with you guys in the MD as much as we can to make this mutually beneficial,” Mr. Seier said. “We want this to be a very positive relationship and a positive outcome for everyone in the area. Community investment is something I love; I have a passion for it, and it’s one of the best parts of my job.”

In particular, he added, the opportunity for local vendors and contractors to get involved in the project would be a golden opportunity for the local economy, especially for jobs that help in camp operations like catering, housekeeping, and maintenance and service.

Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze