The Trans Mountain Expansion Project has developed plans covering a wide range of environmental requirements that must be implemented before, during and after construction along the pipeline right-of-way, facilities and related access areas. These include more than 60 environmental protection and management plans relating to specific aspects of construction, including several management plans detailing mitigation measures relating to wildlife listed under Schedule 1 of the Species At Risk Act (SARA).

One of these plans includes the American Badger Mitigation and Habitat Restoration Plan, which focuses on Trans Mountain’s commitment to avoid and mitigate Project effects on the American badger and its habitat through application of mitigation and restoration measures.

The American badger is the only known badger subspecies found in BC. It’s a squat carnivore weighing 6 – 14 kilograms with dense, coarse hair and a white stripe down its face to its nose. Mitigation measures developed as part of this plan include, consideration of scheduling activities to avoid important periods for American badgers, identifying maternal den sites prior to activities scheduled during this sensitive period, proper soil handling techniques and limiting barriers to badger movement during construction.

Trans Mountain’s commitment to protecting wildlife and their habitat also extends to our existing operations. Earlier this year, planned maintenance along the pipeline route was rescheduled due to the presence of an American badger.

A pipeline integrity dig was scheduled in the spring in the BC Interior. When compiling the work environmental checklist using GIS and other data sources, our Environment team identified the work area as critical habitat for the American badger. A site visit was conducted and a badger den was discovered within 20 metres of the dig site.

A motion activated camera was set up in the area to monitor the movements of the badger. Based on the camera and assessment findings, the integrity dig was postponed until after breeding season (April – August). The integrity dig was safely carried out in September with additional mitigation measures in place to protect the badger, including a no-work buffer of at least 20 metres around the den, fencing installed around open excavations and inactive work areas at night and secure storage and/or removal of food wastes, industrial wastes and other garbage to minimize attracting wildlife.