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Big Project for CanNorth

When a large and well-known conglomerate like Jacobs Engineering Group calls and asks for help, you don't ask too many questions. You just say yes.

Canada North Environmental Services LP (CanNorth) has been subcontracted to work with Jacobs (formerly CH2M Hill) to complete the environmental work for portions of the Enbridge Inc. Line 3 Pipeline Replacement Project that runs from Hardisty, Alberta, to Gretna, Manitoba.

"It's huge," says Jocelyn Howery, CanNorth's hydrology division manager and the Enbridge Project Manager. "It's definitely one of our biggest projects on the books this year."

CanNorth will be working with Jacobs and the Enbridge environment team to ensure that the project's impacts on the environment are mitigated. This work includes identifying nesting birds and rare plant occurrences along the pipeline right-of-way, conducting water quality monitoring during creek crossings, and completing archeological surveys.

"This is a very high-profile project and it's exciting to be involved," says Howery. As one of the biggest pipeline projects in the country, it is under great scrutiny by the National Energy Board.

With multiple locations along the line being worked on at once, as many as 10 CanNorth employees will be working on the project this year near Kerrobert and south of Regina.

A major aspect of the project is the involvement of local First Nations people. Last year, while the CanNorth team worked near Provost in Alberta, members of the Ermineskin First Nation worked alongside CanNorth's trained biologists as field assistants. This partnership provided a valuable learning and training experience for locals who may want to enter the environmental field.

CanNorth has a staff of about 60 people, including staff at a risk assessment office in Markham, Ontario. The risk assessment division started in 2016. Of that number, Howery says there are 44 people who are professional environmental consultants, which makes CanNorth perhaps the largest environmental consulting firm in the province.