Snow fence finally out

by Andru McCracken


A photo of the snow fencing laid at the bottom of Swift Creek. The fencing is held to the bottom with rocks and rebar and acts as a deterrent to prevent salmon from spawning there. /LAURA KEIL

The last of the fish spawning deterrent mats, consisting of laid-flat snowfencing, installed by Trans Mountain Pipeline were finally removed from area creeks as of Dec. 12, according to a Dec. 19 press release from the National Energy Board.

Trans Mountain was ordered to remove the mats as the activity was considered a construction activity by the NEB. Activists gave the company flak for the mats, with one going so far as removing a mat herself.

NEB Inspection Officers were onsite in November and December and their reports will be available online in time.

  • ianstephen

    Actually, the NEB never ordered Trans Mountain to remove the mats. The NEB letter of direction said “the Board directs Trans Mountain to comply with section 31 of the NEB Act, by discontinuing any further installation of fish spawning deterrent mats.” Trans Mountain were allowed to remove the existing ones on their own schedule, other than the two at Swift Creek and Albreda River (Expansion Project crossing BC-85) that were removed by outraged members of the public. There was no consequence to Trans Mountain from either the NEB or DFO.

    The BC Environmental Assessment Office decided that changing spawning habitat to non-spawning habitat with a physical barrier did not amount to physical alteration of any aspect of the natural environment under the definition of construction in the BC environmental assessment certificate on the project.

    The OGC is still investigating regarding violation of the Water Sustainability Act, but don’t hold your breath for action on that, imo.