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TransCanada seeking feedback on route through Lava Bed Memorial Park

TransCanada Pipeline says it will need to go through the Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Memorial Park in the Nass Valley in order to bring gas to the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal on Lelu Island, but the company is doing all it can to mitigate impacts to the park.

A total of 12.1 km of pipeline will need to be in the park, but TransCanada has designed it such that 10 km will run along the existing highway to minimize disturbance

"The right routing to us is to use existing disturbances and the road is already there so it make sense to use that corridor," said senior communications specialist Garry Bridgewater during an open house in Port Edward on June 17.

For the remaining 2.1 km, TransCanada has submitted a Park Boundary Amendment Application that would allow for the pipeline to be buried in the park with the necessary right-of-way. The application has already passed the first round of screening, with public comments being accepted through princerupertgas.com between now and July 10. From there, the province will need to vote on the matter during the fall legislative session.

Should the amendment be approved, Bridgewater said the plan extends beyond simply installing the pipe.

"When the pipeline is covered, we will look at creating a bike path with benches because we recognize the importance of the park," he said.

The company expects a final investment decision by the end of the year to start construction in 2015.

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