Trans Mountain Allowed to Resume Tree Clearing for Oil Pipeline Project

(Reuters) — The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) this week lifted a stop work order on Trans Mountain Corporation that restricted tree clearing and mowing across the oil pipeline project to protect the environment and migratory birds.

The order issued on June 3 required Trans Mountain to investigate and find the root cause of two incidents related to contractor oversight issues in May.

"The CER has now lifted the Order and Trans Mountain is proceeding with the implementation of the action plan prior to restarting clearing work," Trans Mountain said in a statement dated June 21.

Other construction activity continued across the C$12.6 billion ($10.17 billion) TMX project, which will nearly triple capacity of the pipeline to ship 890,000 barrels per day of crude and refined products when completed late 2022.

Trans Mountain operates Canada's only pipeline system transporting crude oil and refined products to the West Coast. The pipeline runs from Edmonton in Alberta to the coast of British Columbia.

Environmental activists and some indigenous groups oppose the project, which has been beset by years of regulatory delay and cost overruns.

To ensure the expansion proceeded, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government bought the pipeline from Kinder Morgan Canada in 2018, making Trans Mountain a government corporation.

In April, the Canadian government ordered the company to halt work on a section of its oil pipeline expansion project in Burnaby, British Columbia, until August to protect hummingbird nests.

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