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Hummingbirds Halt Work on Canada’s Biggest Oil Pipeline Project

The latest hiccup hindering construction of Canada’s biggest oil pipeline project: hummingbirds.

The Trans Mountain oil pipeline will halt some work along its expansion route after inspectors discovered nests of Anna’s hummingbirds in an area near Burnaby, B.C. Other migratory bird species including Song Sparrows, Pine Siskins, American Robins and Black-capped Chickadees were also found in the area.

The Canadian Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada ordered the company to pause some construction including felling trees, through mid-August. Trans Mountain plans to continue work in areas not subject to restrictions, and hasn’t changed its projected in-service date of December 2022, according to a statement.

The restrictions are the latest setback for the controversial project to expand a nearly 1,000-kilometer oil pipeline running from Alberta to the British Columbia coast. The 590,000 barrel-a-day conduit has faced myriad court-imposed delays and protests that culminated in the federal government buying the pipeline after the original owner, Kinder Morgan Inc., threatened to scrap it amid fierce opposition.

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