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August 03, 2021

Coyotes and Budgies

Conducting regular daily scans for potential impacts to the natural environment during construction and cleanup activities is the usual practice on all PHAI work sites. What makes the Pine Street North Extension Consolidation Site different is the critters that may be spotted from day to day. Environmental monitoring on this site, located near Highland Drive, is often filled with exciting finds which can be described as anything but routine.

“We have spotted coyotes, snakes and even snapping turtles,” shares Environmental Technician Katrina Fries. Working with the contractor on this PHAI site, Katrina often takes an early morning site walk down to assess conditions for the day and to determine what may have changed overnight.

While all staff are trained in wildlife awareness, they know that Katrina is the first call if something unusual is spotted. It is the environmental team’s role to guide their response, relocate any creatures as necessary and ensure that both the workers and environment are protected during the work.

“They notify me right away if they notice something.  They know to avoid the situation and keep their distance in order to be safe,” added Fries.

Located near the municipal woodland and the heavily treed Monkey Mountain area, the environment seems to foster a number of wildlife such as coyotes, Eastern Milk snakes, Garter snakes and even a Red Belly snake – all who have been spotted on site.

“We have also seen a few snapping turtles who seem to have lost their way and may have traveled from the Brewer’s pond on to our truck route.  One was trying to nest and couldn’t do so on the compacted ground,” shared Fries. “We were able to relocate them offsite to a safe area and put preventative measures in place so they couldn’t make their way back into danger.”

Daniel LeBlanc, CNL’s Environmental Compliance Officer stresses that every PHAI scope of work and technical specifications include requirements for a mandatory environmental plan which does include training for workers.

While accommodating nesting birds has become more common place on other sites, the exciting finds at the Pine Street sites was broadened when a budgie was found on site.  It seemed to have been a tamed bird who escaped or sadly may have been released. Every effort was made to locate the bird’s owner without success and the bird is currently being cared for by a member of the team.

“Wood reaffirms their commitment to protecting wildlife on all the sites we work on.  We are pleased with the way the workers embrace the training and programs we have in place.  In particular, we are grateful for their support,” says Eli Thompson, Environmental Manager with Wood.

Environmental monitoring is a key part of all PHAI activities and provides assurance that human health as well as wildlife and the environment is being protected.

See here for more information on our environmental protection plan.

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