As a condition of project approval, Kinder Morgan Canada was required to conduct a Post-Construction Monitoring Program (PCM) for five years following project construction, with the final year scheduled for 2012. This has included evaluating reclamation success, vegetation establishment, erosion control and weed growth. Many of the successes identified in the Post-Construction Monitoring Program can be attributed to the implementation of measures outlined in the Restoration Plan — implemented both prior to and during construction. While the PCM program ends in 2012, ongoing monitoring will continue through routine pipeline operations.
Following are the preliminary results from the Post-Construction Monitoring Program:
- pre-construction consultations with Parks Canada and its associates regarding vegetation management and the selection and/or collection of suitable plant material for use in restoration was imperative to align objectives and goals for the restoration program;
- collection of plant material prior to clearing and topsoil salvage activities allowed for the preservation and replacement of Jasper National Park’s genetic heritage;
- where root grubbing was minimized, adjacent to the Trans Mountain Pipeline system and watercourses, native volunteer plants have established;
- topsoil salvage, storage and replacement allowed for the soil seed bank and vital plant growth factors to be replaced;
- natural regeneration was an effective means of revegetation where topsoil was salvaged and replaced promptly and where soil erosion was not a substantial concern; and,
- though undertaken as a trial, native sod plot salvage and replacement were successful, with timing of sod salvage (in the fall) and replacement activities (in the spring) being contributing factors.
Monitoring of DFO Compensation Projects
To document the effectiveness of the mitigation and site rehabilitation while identifying any areas requiring remedial action, Kinder Morgan Canada conducted yearly post-construction monitoring after spring high flows for five years. The company also monitored all habitat compensation programs following high flows to evaluate their effectiveness and the success of revegetation recovery.
Monitoring to Ensure Compliance with Parks Canada
Parks Canada formalized its expectations by establishing Management Objectives and Desired End Results, determining the end point of Kinder Morgan Canada’s responsibilities. These objectives have been incorporated into the Post-Construction Monitoring Program.
Follow-up monitoring differs from post-construction monitoring through the identification of specific focus areas for detailed observation. Follow-up monitoring was required for:
- wetland function
- restoration of calcareous (calcium) soils
- prevention of the spread of forest pathogens (bacteria); and,
- visual aesthetics.
Kinder Morgan Canada is committed to ongoing monitoring to ensure follow-through on its environmental commitments.