When we talk about doing “the right thing”, we mean it. This applies both to our commitment to protect the environment we work in and our respect for all laws and regulations in the jurisdictions where we operate.
On Aug 21, the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change in Quebec approved a permit for TransCanada to carry out some geotechnical surveys in the Saint Lawrence River outside of the *Gros-Cacouna port where we are examining the possibility of building a marine terminal that would be part of our Energy East Pipeline Project.
Critical Geotechnical Studies
These geotechnical surveys will provide us with a detailed look at the seabed to assess soil strength and composition. They are an essential part of the in-depth studies our engineers and geologists carry out to ensure we develop an infrastructure concept that is safe and adapted to the local environment.
To carry out this work, TransCanada voluntarily filed for permits with the Quebec Government. We had already received other approvals from Transport Canada and Fisheries and Ocean Canada for the work.
This permit has now been received and will allow us to move ahead with surveys that will help us refine a critical part of our project. Energy East will create 3,600 direct full-time jobs in Quebec during the project’s development and construction. Some of those will be in and around Cacouna – from the geologists we are recruiting for seabed surveys to dockers and truck drivers.
The project will bring tangible benefits to the communities around the Saint Lawrence River but we know this only matters if it is done in a way that respects the sensitive local environment. And this is how we will work – not because we have to, but because we want to. On every project we undertake, our environmental strategy goes beyond simply complying with all applicable environmental laws and regulations; our goal is to implement policies supporting sustainability in a way that raises the bar not only for us, but for the entire industry.
We will implement specific measures to protect the beluga population in the Cacouna area. These measures were developed by our experts in collaboration with government experts. We will observe a 540-meter protection zone for the marine mammals around the equipment used for our surveys, using a visual monitoring – by experienced observers— in order to immediately interrupt our work if a beluga enters the protection zone, and resuming the surveys only once observers confirm that the beluga has left the area for 30 minutes. We will also use hydrophones to measure underwater noise levels in order to confirm that the protection zone is adequate.
These are some of the measures we will implement in Cacouna to ensure our surveys do not impact the beluga population – again not because we have to, but because we take responsibility for what we do and we seek to mitigate any impact we may have on the environment.
In 2013, our company was named for the 12th consecutive year to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, and one of the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada by Corporate Knights magazine. There is a reason for this.
We are actively involved in significant conservation efforts across North America. This includes collaborating in partnerships that support the protection of natural resources and ecosystems as well as education programs with Ducks Unlimited, Pollinator Partnership, Trees for Tomorrow, Nature Canada or Pollution Probe. We also have dozens of collaborations with local environmental organizations across North America and work very closely with these partners to support meaningful environmental initiatives in the communities where we operate.
Why do we do all this? Because, as one of North America’s leading energy infrastructure companies, we strive each and every day to minimize our environmental footprint while fulfilling our obligation to meet the continent’s growing demand for reliable and affordable energy.