Integrity Digs in Saskatchewan

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EDI Provides Environmental Support for Pipeline Maintenance

Cameron Jackson

Cameron Jackson - Senior Biologist/Project Manager, EDI Saskatoon

Integrity digs are a critical component of routine maintenance to locate and repair deficiencies associated with natural gas pipelines. When an anomaly has been detected, an integrity dig is completed to excavate and repair or replace the pipe segment where the anomaly was identified. Team members from EDI Saskatoon provide environmental support for these activities.

“EDI’s contributions begin before the integrity dig takes place” explains Cameron Jackson, project manager and senior biologist at EDI Saskatoon. “Once clients, such as TransGas, provide us with the location of a potential dig site, we conduct a desktop screening to identify potential environmental constraints that may be present within a 1 km radius of the dig site. The intent of the screening is to document the presence of species of management concern (including plants and animals), wetlands and watercourses, native habitat, and other environmental features that need to be considered as part of project planning, as per TransGas and the Ministry of Environment requirements. The potential presence of heritage resources is also investigated. We get assistance from Atlheritage Services Corp. for this component of the screening.”

Once a desktop screening has been completed, a site visit typically occurs to confirm environmental conditions at the dig site. Surveys for the presence of occupied bird nests and species of management concern may also be carried out. Confirmation of environmental sensitivities helps to pinpoint appropriate mitigation measures that can be implemented prior to or during the integrity dig to prevent and/or limit negative effects. For example, if a songbird nest is located near the dig site, avoidance of that area during the dig would be recommended. If wetlands are confirmed within a certain distance from the dig site, an application for an Aquatic Habitat Project Permit may be required.

Integrity Dig - Excavator

“Once the integrity dig is underway, EDI team members may be present to serve as Environmental Monitors,” states Cameron. “For example, we are there as part of the TransGas team — to liaise with the construction supervisors and operators conducting the dig, provide explanations regarding environmental sensitivities, and review recommended mitigation measures with the team on site.”

If you need help with an integrity dig or would like to discuss the environmental components of integrity digs in Saskatchewan, please CONTACT US. If you would like to read about an integrity dig in British Columbia that EDI provided support for, please CLICK HERE. For additional details on the various services provided by EDI team members, CLICK HERE.