Before submitting the application for the Energy East Pipeline for regulatory review, TransCanada will conduct extensive field studies of the proposed corridor.
Scientists and trained field workers conduct all studies, collecting data to support the development of mitigation to help minimize effects on the environment. Timing of the surveys depends on seasonal factors, such as weather, migration and nesting periods, water levels and ground conditions.
Some areas of study along the proposed corridor include:
|Fisheries and Aquatics||Fisheries biologists and field technicians collect information related to species composition and their habitats. Baseline conditions help determine the corridor design and layout, as well as best crossing locations, crossing method and timing for construction. Surveys may be conducted at different times of the year to account for potential seasonal variances.|
|Wildlife||Wildlife biologists conduct surveys of wildlife found in the vicinity of the project, including species at risk and wildlife habitat. Data is collected about nesting birds, fur bearers, mammals, waterfowl areas, reptiles and amphibians.|
|Soil||Surveys are conducted on agricultural lands to document baseline soil conditions and to help set soil-handling measures. Crews collect data on characteristics such as salt content, particle size and organic matter. Soils are categorized according to the Canadian System of Soil Classification.|
|Vegetation and Wetlands||Vegetation and wetland specialists conduct surveys to identify wetland areas, vegetation types, rare plant populations and ecological communities. Forestry specialists undertake a timber assessment to estimate the amount of total and merchantable timber.|
|Hydrology and Hydrogeology||Hydrologists collect detailed data on all bodies of water, such as channel geometry, flow rates, temperatures, turbidity and pH levels. Hydrogeology is the study of the movement or flow distribution and quality of groundwater.|
|Terrain||Terrain types, terrain features, geological features and ecosystem types are identified. Preliminary surveys are conducted from the air, followed by detailed studies by ground crews.|