Throughout our business plans, we are integrating environmental performance improvement in the areas that matter most to our stakeholders and our business: minimizing our environmental footprint. Our challenge is to minimize the impact of our operations while growing our business.
Access to land for facilities and pipeline rights-of-way is a key business issue for us, and we recognize that certain areas of land and water across North America have particular biological or cultural sensitivity. Our infrastructure and growth projects are sometimes located in sensitive areas, and we also manage large tracts of land associated with some of our facilities. Our facilities and pipelines have the potential to affect these areas, either through construction and use or secondary impacts, such as new rights-of-way that allow entry to previously inaccessible areas. We use the following approach to protecting cultural sensitivity and biodiversity in the areas in which we operate:
- We conduct risk assessments to identify sensitive areas, including protected species and habitats, before proposing pipeline routes and associated support facility locations;
- We avoid environmentally or culturally sensitive areas when practical and when alternative routes are available; and
- We mitigate our impact by restoring pipeline rights-of-way and implementing the recommendations of environmental and social impact assessments and permitting agencies – such as using horizontal directional drilling under certain river crossings, observing seasonal windows of operation and tracking long-term effects on key species.
We also support biodiversity conservation efforts beyond our operational footprint by providing financial support and participating on the boards of organizations such as The Nature Conservancy and the Coastal Wetlands Restoration Partnership.