“ We strive to treat animals with compassion and respect. Because CN's network passes through a wide range of habitats, including national parks, forests, prairies and wetlands, this commitment comes into play every day.
To coexist with wildlife and aquatic life:
- We strive to meet or exceed all environmental regulations.
- We self-regulate to minimize potential impacts from our operations.
Learn more about CN's strategies for habitat protection right now.
Monitoring and assessments
CN has an extensive and varied environmental monitoring program to gauge the effects of our construction and maintenance projects on fish, wildlife and vegetation:
- Prior to initiating construction projects, CN completes environmental assessments to determine if any type of fish, wildlife or vegetation is at risk.
- Once projects have received all required permits and approvals from environmental regulatory agencies, we monitor the projects during construction and after completion.
- CN takes extra precautions when railway tracks are located near watercourses, ensuring that proper environmental protection measures are developed to mitigate concerns.
Protecting aquatic life
CN has long been sensitive to the need to balance essential track work with aquatic protection. To prevent and correct any impact on the ecosystems in areas where we operate, we have introduced a number of initiatives:
- The Fish Culvert Passage Program addresses and corrects fish migration problems due to historical activity. This includes the replacement or modification of culverts.
- CN Engineering and Mechanical field personnel receive ongoing "Environmental Protection for Engineering" training that provides guidelines for working around sensitive, natural habitats.
- Compliance audits, site monitoring and post-construction monitoring help ensure the long-term productivity of aquatic systems. The results of many CN engineering projects must be reported to government agencies.
- Since 1998, CN has used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping to obtain information crucial for environment impact assessments and/or emergency response procedures.
- GIS mapping leads to relevant data about nearby communities and sensitive habitats that improves the speed and quality of emergency response.
- CN aims to complete a GIS map of the entire network of culverts, bridges and sensitive habitats.
There are two sides to every coin. This applies to many aspects of life. This includes vegetation management…
- For environmentalists, controlling the vegetation in and around our tracks could be construed as an example of gross wastefulness, wasting water and polluting our environment with mower fumes and fertilizer.
- For us, vegetation control is vital to safe train operations and railway maintenance.
Although vegetation management is critical for CN, we use a variety of relatively low-impact methods:
- Mechanical cutting equipment
- Manual brushing and/or mowing
For information on vegetation management in British Columbia, please take a look at our Pest Plan for Integrated Vegetation Control (PDF).