At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation (LTFN) will live stream a news conference on social media to share new information regarding its civil lawsuit against Enbridge over the October 2018 pipeline explosion that rocked the Northside Subdivision of the First Nation for 20 kilometers. northeast of Prince George.
No one was injured in the explosion on October 9, 2018, but it shook buildings and frightened nearby residents, forcing the evacuation of 125 people within a two-kilometer radius of the ruptured pipeline as crews worked for put out the big fireball and seal the pipeline.
The line supplies much of southern British Columbia with natural gas, and the rupture resulted in temporary shortages.
In his lawsuit filed on February 27, 2019, Lheidli T’enneh seeks damages from Enbridge and wants the court to force the Calgary-based company to remove its pipelines from the First Nation’s unceded ancestral lands.
In March 2019, Enbridge met with the Lheidli T’enneh Band Council and proposed a settlement, which was rejected. The First Nation said the offer was “disrespectful, pitiful and did not provide the necessary security guarantees to the community.” Lheidli T’enneh also pledged to meet with his Indigenous neighbors to share their concerns about Enbridge’s ability to safely transport oil across Indigenous reserves and territories.
In November 2020, Enbridge’s subsidiary, Westcoast Energy, was fined $ 40,000 after an investigation by Canada’s Energy Regulator determined that the company had failed to act. adequately places a stress corrosion monitoring system that would have identified the problematic section of pipe prior to the explosion.
The Transportation Safety Board, in its final report released in March, said the three-foot-wide pipeline had ruptured due to stress corrosion cracks on the outer surface of the pipe. The board said Westcoast Energy did not follow its own engineering assessment and approvals procedures before deciding to postpone an inspection that could have prevented the explosion.
Tuesday’s meeting in downtown Prince George at the House of Ancestors, 355 Vancouver St., will highlight innovative action LTFN says it will take “in the pursuit of justice and human security in this matter. , and his desire to stay safe in the community given Enbridge’s continuing breaches of security.
The press conference will be webcast on the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation Facebook page. The meeting will follow COVID-19 safety protocols as outlined by the provincial health office.
- With files from The Citizen